Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Fishermen's future 'under threat'

Large sections of the Scottish fishing fleet face are reportedly being forced out of business

Fishermen have issued a stark warning that their future is at stake unless the new government takes urgent remedial action.

The Scottish Fishermen's Federation said large sections of the fleet faced being forced out of business.

Chief executive Bertie Armstrong said: "For an alarmingly wide proportion of the industry just now, survival is the key issue.

"The single most important issue for a fisherman is whether his boat or business survives and makes a profit. If that doesn't happen, then nothing else matters."

Mr Armstrong conceded that the health and abundance of stocks would govern opportunities but said the fleet depended on ministers in London and Edinburgh acting in its interest.

He added: "Given the way that life in the industry has unfolded in the first quarter of 2010, opinion at the quayside is saying in the strongest possible terms that much, much more needs to be done - and done now.

"The recovery of stocks and their abundance on the fishing grounds are not matched by the management measures constraining the fleet.

"Every sector of the industry has its own set of difficulties but we must look together, government and industry, at what can be done immediately to make the best of what opportunities we have and can claim."

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