Salmond no easy fix for cod

| June 16, 2010

In a letter to Cod Crusader Carol MacDonald, sea fishery policy official Stuart Baxter told her that the Scottish Government understands her “frustration and concern”  over the process involved in trying to improve the Cod Recovery Plan, but like other governments, Scotland is stuck with the system.

Mrs MacDonald had originally emailed Alex Salmond for an explanation of recent changes to the days at sea arrangements whereby the Conservation Credits Group agreed to reduce flat rate allocation of days at sea for the whitefish fleet from 140 to 120 days to eliminate over-allocation which was a feature of previous year’s system.

According to Baxter “This was absolutely necessary to do at an early stage in order to aim to reduce the risk of a breach of the Scottish pot of whitefish kW days in a way that also achieves a full year fishery in 2010/11 to ensure that skippers can rely on continued fishing if they keep their days until later in the year to maximise their profits.

“However, in order to offset some of the difficulty associated with the 120 days, the Scottish Government has developed, and  now introduced a further five selective whitefish gear options to allow skippers to buy back up to 24 days extra fishing time in a full year.”

The Conservation Credits Steering Group are also due to discuss a proposal to bring in a deep water line, similar to the French Line, which will extend throughout all of Scotland’s territorial waters. Fishing outside that particular line will not count against a vessels allocation, so this will be another avenue that the Scottish Government is providing the Scottish fleet to get some relief from the effort reductions under the Cod Recovery Plan.

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