Following a meeting with UK fisheries minister George Eustice during his visit to Shetland today, Shetland Fishermen’s Association executive officer Simon Collins said there had been positive discussion on a range of issues.
The minister visited the SFA headquarters at the Stewart Building in Lerwick where he met Mr Collins, SFA chairman Leslie Tait, Shetland Fish Producers’ Organisation chief executive Brian Isbister, pelagic and whitefish skippers and representatives of LHD.
Mr Collins said: “We had a very open and frank discussion on many of the biggest issues we face, including the mackerel deal.
“The minister is very much aware of the importance of Shetland to UK fisheries and was prepared to engage in some detail rather than hide behind a political smokescreen.
“There are grounds for optimism on the discard ban, although we clearly have an awful long way to go. Mr Eustice has a commendable grasp of the issues and made it clear that he will roll his sleeves up and work with us.
“We will maintain contact with the minister and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and try together to find workable solutions to maintain the health of this vital Shetland industry.”