Representing & Supporting Shetland’s Fishermen

Statement from Shetland Fishermen’s Association: December Fisheries Council

December 14th 2016

Leslie Tait, chairman of Shetland Fishermen’s Association, described the quota changes ratified by the December Fisheries Council as broadly good news for local whitefish boats.

“The uplifts for cod, saithe, ling and monkfish are particularly welcome, especially with cod being subject to the discard ban from 1st January 2017,” he said.

“The major demersal stocks are in very good health – and that’s largely due to the efforts and sacrifices of fishermen stretching back a decade and more.

“The unfortunate error in the haddock science does not give fishermen any feeling of security when planning their business for the future with huge fluctuations of quota from year to year."

Mr Tait added that even after a year of the discard ban or landings obligation for whitefish species such as haddock and plaice, it was still not clear to fishermen how the rules would work in practice when it applies to a greater number of species.

“We’re staggered that the EU is still pressing on with a discard ban that it knows full well to be unworkable. Brussels is still living in its own land of make-believe.

“We look forward to a time when we can regain control of our fisheries management regime and make sure it is sensible and practical.”