NFFO upset with SNP fisheries policy

May 19th, 2008

Today the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO), England’s main catching sector group, accused the Scottish Government of a “pre-emptive strike” over a licensing and quota issue which underlines the differing policies being pursued North of the Border.

The NFFO believes the Scottish Government moratorium on the transfer of licences and FQA units go well beyond the powers granted under the devolution settlement and is an opening skirmish in the battle for separate fisheries policies for Scotland.

To date, licences and quotas have been freely transferable across the UK but a consultation paper expected later this week will spell out the Scottish Government’s intentions though NFFO assert that the Scottish Executive was late in sharing a draft of the text with Defra officials.

NFFO say the move is provocative, highly irresponsible and that there is no basis in law for the Scottish Executive to apply unilateral measures that will have serious consequences across the UK by creating uncertainty over business decisions and distracting ministers and officials when their time would be better spent confronting the real issues in fisheries.

SSACN wonders if that would include ‘black fish’ landings !

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