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Wednesday, 04 November 2021 20:16

2016 to be “landmark year” for fishing industry

2016 to be “landmark year” for fishing industry Photo: Salmon Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation

Scotland’s fisheries secretary has said 2016 will prove a “milestone” for the fishing industry, with the launch of a ban on discards for white fish and prawn stocks.

This year, fish landing values have increased by nearly 20% with revenues worth over £500million.

Many of Scotland’s stocks in the North Sea are in “good shape,” with the scientific advice which will inform quotas next year also “very positive.”

Recommendations have been made to increase North Sea cod by 15%, haddock by 30%, monkfish by 20%, megrim by 26%, Rockall haddock by 25% and prawns by 15%.

Speaking at the Scottish Fisherman’s Federation annual dinner in Edinburgh, Richard Lochhead said: “The fishing industry is very important to Scotland’s economy and contributes over £500million in revenues a year. It supports a lot of jobs in Scotland. It’s great to hear that the fishing has been good over the last year, with a growing abundance of key commercial stocks promising to keep businesses buoyant. At the same time, I’m also alive to the challenges in some stocks, like North Sea Nephrops and Whiting, and where necessary we’ll be seeking to mitigate these in the forthcoming negotiations.

“Increasing stocks bring confidence and increasingly I am hearing about thriving businesses, about plans to invest and young skippers coming through. However we know there is more to do, which is why the Scottish Government will continue to support our fishing industry and their communities as they seek to overcome a variety of challenges.

“The discard ban is foremost among these. No-one wants to see dead fish being thrown back into the sea - least of all our fishermen. This is why I’ve consistently supported the ban. For me it’s a no brainer if we’re to be serious about managing our natural resources, conserving fish stocks, and playing a meaningful role in improving global food security.”

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