Reacting to the fisheries agreement reached between the UK and the EU for 2023, SFA executive officer Simon Collins said:
“Of all the fish stocks included in this complex deal, monkfish was by far the biggest challenge – with a proposed 30% quota cut to that valuable species.
“This made no sense to our members or the wider Scottish industry. Ministers agreed to prioritise monkfish, and – justified through scientific evidence provided by fishermen –negotiated a less extreme reduction. The impact on crews will also be mitigated further through international transfers and other management measures.”
“However, we should never have faced a 30% cut to monkfish quotas in the first place. That figure was based on uncertain stock assessment results disrupted by survey vessel breakdown and COVID-19. Our members are ready to assist with future government stock surveys to ensure sustainable and dependable results.”
“Fishermen have been vindicated over North Sea cod quotas, and are sure they will be vindicated again when scientific recommendations for monkfish catch up to reality. People should understand that no one has a greater interest in sustainable fishing than the fishermen and the communities whose futures depend upon it.”
The UK government statement can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/increased-fishing-opportunities-worth-750-million-agreed-for-2023