The Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network

            A charity registered in Scotland - RegNo:: SC039015


Black spot in the rose garden

The West of Scotland Fish Producers Organisation (WSFPO) said today that it is “deeply concerned” by the package of measures contained in a leaked Scottish Government paper on proposed changes to the quota management in Scotland.

They are concerned that although the Scottish Marine Directorate had discussed many general issues of the Quota Management Change Programme, the first the WSFPO knew of the finalised proposals was when the leaked paper featured in a magazine.

WSFPO is unable to reconcile this approach to managing fisheries with the Scottish Government’s promise prior to the Scottish elections earlier this year that ‘fishermen and other stakeholders should be given a greater say over the management of our fisheries.’

We can sympathise with that view, there has been no process introduced to provide ‘other stakeholders’ with input to the management of fisheries.

The key issue appears to be that the new administration wants to ensure that Scotland’s share of quotas is available to the ‘active fleet.

The WSFPO claim that the amount of quota held by non-fishermen in Scotland is decreasing and that if quotas and licensing are run on different systems, it will impact trade in quota and Scottish fishermen would be isolated from other UK fishermen.

They also feel that if the Scottish industry takes unilateral decisions it will weaken Scotland’s position at the European table and that the new administration in Scotland has decided to use the fishing industry as another independence lever.

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