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EU Marine Bill Poses Threats and Opportunities

EU - Responding to the official announcement this morning on the introduction of a new Marine Bill for Scotland, Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermens Federation said that the bill poses both opportunities and threats

“The Scottish Marine Bill is an automatic consequence of European directives and the further forward UK Marine Bill; its introduction is inevitable. The broad overall objectives are entirely supported but the Bill and its supporting regulation will present both opportunities and threats for the fishing industry.

“It is absolutely essential that fishing has a proper place in marine planning with the primary objectives of ensuring a profitable, sustainable industry that makes the best of a valuable and renewable resource off our coasts. If this is properly recognised in the legislation, then a good opportunity will not have been missed. Scottish fishermen have been at the forefront of ensuring that our fisheries are sustainable and well managed – in other words acting as a responsible stakeholder.

“Balance will be the keyword for all stakeholder interests and the government. It is vital that the Bill avoids the pitfall of paying disproportionate attention to the high profile issues of environmental protection and offshore renewable energy - both are welcome and desirable, but proper recognition must always be given to fishing and the vital economic role it plays.”

the Fish Site Editor

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