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02/10/13 18:50

Plotting course for success

Shaping the future for the fishing industry.

The Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead outlined his vision for the future success of the fishing industry in his speech to the Scottish Fisherman’s Federation (SFF).

Speaking at the SFF dinner annual dinner in Edinburgh, Mr Lochhead highlighted five key issues on the horizon which will shape the future direction of the industry.

These are:

  • Working together in preparation of the discards ban
  • Helping active skippers get access to the quota they need
  • Encourage and support new entrants
  • Continuing to press the European Commission to replace the Cod Recovery Plan with a mixed fishery delivering a sustainable approach to fishing
  • Ensure fishing can coexist with other marine interests

Mr Lochhead said:

“Fishing is hard-wired into the culture and heritage of our coastal communities. The fisheries industries in Scotland contribute £500 million to the economy and supports over 5,000 jobs across Scotland.

“Crossroads provide opportunity for the industry to seize the moment and secure the future for generations to come. The industry and government need to work together and plot the right course for success.

“I have established a task force to look at some of the issues currently facing us. We need to call on the knowledge and experience of the industry to harness all its innovation, imagination and entrepreneurial spirit. These are the people who are already leading the way in developing sustainable and environmentally friendly fishing practices for the future conservation of our fish stocks.”

Mr Lochhead also spoke about opportunities for the industry in an independent Scotland:

“The best people to take decisions affecting Scotland are those who live and work here. A small nation with sovereign control over its own destiny will be the best advocate of those things which are most important to it.

“Few industries have lost more under a Westminster government and few industries have more to gain from independence.”