Limited Success of Fisheries Talks

Fergus Ewing,Fisheries Secretary  in the Scottish Government  has responded to a mixed result of  fisheries talks between the EU and Norway.

Fergus Ewing said:

Fergus Ewing

Photo Scot Gov

“I am pleased that a number of our key issues have been included in today’s agreement, which gives certainty on quota levels on some key stocks in the North Sea. Overall there is very positive news on the catch levels set for important North Sea stocks that are jointly managed with Norway and we will see catching opportunities increasing for five out of six of these stocks next year.”

But added:

“I am disappointed that the EU’s negotiators have continued to trade away saithe quota in both the North Sea and west of Scotland.  This is a significant choke risk stock for Scotland in the North Sea and we remain firmly opposed in principle to giving away to Norway stocks that we remain short of ourselves.  This makes no economic nor fishing sense and risks putting the industry in a difficult position under the landing obligation.

“Furthermore the EU has again retained an over-reliance on the use of northern Blue Whiting as a currency with which to bring in Arctic Cod quota from Norway. Within the EU bloc the UK is largest shareholder of Blue Whiting  of which Scotland holds over 92% yet receives not a single tonne of the Arctic Cod coming back in return.”

fishing-mackerelQuota increases for five of the six North Sea stocks:

  • 38% for whiting,
  • 25% for herring,
  • 24% for haddock
  • 10% for cod

Cod, haddock, saithe and herring will be fished at sustainable (MSY) levels in 2018 with whiting on a clearly defined path towards MSY by 2020.


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  1. Once again alarm bells should be ringing in our catching sector and this result should act as a warning to our fishermen who believe that they are about to enter a new era of ‘utopia’ once Brexit happens, if it ever does. There was another clear signal ten days ago from the fish processing industry along the East Coast of England when they demanded special treatment to allow them to to continue to employ EU Citizens as they claim they will have to shut down due to staff shortages. A situation that will also be happening in large processors, like Shetland Catch, in Shetland but also in the Broch and Peterhead.

    There is also another very large asteroid in the shape of the Gibraltar – Spanish Border and I would gently remind our fishermen of the situation back in 1971 when the “caring” Tories sold the fishermen down the river after pressure from Spain who were demanding access to Nth. Sea and West Coast fishing grounds. BE WARNED.

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