EU/Faroe fishing deal welcomed by leaders

Peterhead Harbour - March 2014
Peterhead Harbour - March 2014

Opportunities to fish in Faroes water have been secured for another year as a result of the EU/Faroe talks, which concluded last week.

This agreement means stability for Scotland as fishing levels remain at the same level as this year, with the exception of a minor reduction in redfish.

The agreement also provides much-needed flexibility through access to additional fishing grounds and the provision of an effort-refuge from the Cod Recovery Zone.

It allows critical access for our whitefish fleet to Faroese waters, which is worth over £3 million per year to the industry.

Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “I am pleased that we have managed to maintain the same level of white fish quota and there has been no increase in access for Faroese vessels.

“This Agreement balances multiple needs across all sectors of the industry and to secure the wider benefits across Scotland’s fleets.

“It is welcome the agreement has been reached quickly to allow for proper planning of activities by vessels next year and will provide stability for the industry in 2015.”

Meanwhile, in response to the deal Mike Park, chief executive of the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association (SWFPA), described it as a victory for common sense.

He said: “It’s immensely satisfying that some of Scotland’s largest whitefish vessels will have greater fishing options once again,” he said.

“This deal is a victory for common sense and will relieve some of the pressure on our skippers who are extremely concerned about the impact the discard ban will have on their livelihoods.

“It is to be hoped that the European Commission follows up on this deal and the one made with Norway last week by taking steps towards framing a practicable discard ban and we look forward to working with them on that.”