Representing & Supporting Shetland’s Fishermen

EU exit means governments and industry need to work together for sensible fisheries rules

June 24th 2016

Scotland’s two biggest fishing associations have urged the governments in Edinburgh and London to work with them to secure better fishing opportunities and more sensible rules following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.

Leaders of the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association and Shetland Fishermen’s Association acknowledged that most of their members had wanted out of the EU.

But they emphasised that the UK’s exit would not bring long-term benefits unless there was now close collaboration with Holyrood and Westminster on new UK and Scottish fisheries policy.

SWFPA chief executive Mike Park said: “European Union fisheries policy is flawed – that is why so many fishermen voted to leave.

“But we need to recognise that there are significant dangers to the industry if the UK and Scottish governments do not react to the very clear message by focusing on a new approach that recognises fishermen themselves and their communities as the key stakeholders.

“Members of the SWFPA insist that we stay on course with regard to sustainable harvesting and sensible fishing, and they are equally insistent that unworkable laws be changed.”

SFA executive officer Simon Collins said: “We will be looking to work together with politicians and civil servants in Edinburgh and London to focus on helping the industry secure improved fishing opportunities and a set of practical, sensible rules that everyone can adhere to while preserving livelihoods and fish stocks.”