Scottish government: Fishing sector must unite to ensure brightest future
A national discussion paper outlining the Scottish government’s vision for the future of fisheries after Brexit has been launched by Scotland Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing.
The paper’s key priorities include ensuring that access to Scottish waters and fishing opportunities are not traded away and that fishing quotas are in the hands of active Scottish fishermen. It also supports the principle of a discard ban, but wants stakeholders to put a more workable approach in place and also wants to encourage new entrance to the industry by creating additional licenses and quota.
Furthermore, it wants to press United Kingdom government to introduce a new work permit system to secure sustainable labor supply for the fishing industry.
Ewing launched the paper at a meeting with representatives from the local fishing community in Kirkwall, Orkney. This was the first of a series of meetings across Scotland to allow businesses and communities involved in fishing to have a say in the new strategy.
The minister said that the U.K.’s departure from the European Union will inevitably bringing changes in the way fisheries are managed and nature of the Scottish industry’s relationships with other seafaring nations.
“Whatever the future holds, Scotland’s role as a world-leading fisheries nation, and as a responsible and sustainable manager of this important natural resources, will continue,” Ewing said. “It’s vital we come together to shape our future approach, and that everyone involved in fishing has their say in that process. Only by doing so can we best manage our natural resources sustainability, and ensure the brightest possible future of fishing in this country.”
He also added that the discussion paper wasn’t intended to provide all the answers, but would rather act as a catalyst to move forward – developing ideas that would help deliver an inclusive, productive approach.