Commenting on the publication of the Scottish Sea Fisheries Statistics for 2011 on fish landings by the Scottish fishing fleet, Mr Armstrong said: Although these statistics show an increase of 13 per cent in the value of fish landed, the main reason for this is down to the strong, and very welcome, global demand for mackerel.
However, income and profitability are two very different things. The reality is that most of our fleet is facing severe economic and cost pressures, including the soaring price of fuel, the extra costs required to meet a whole range of complex technical regulations, and the disruption of fishing patterns caused by days-at-sea restrictions. The prawn sector has also been hit by reduced demand in key European markets caused by the global recession.
The decrease of 55 vessels (three per cent) in the Scottish fleet and the decline in employment to the lowest ever recorded levels in the catching sector compared with 2010 portrays a much more accurate reflection of the severe pressures facing the fishing industry today and highlights the dysfunctional regulations that we are having to endure. This is why the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy must deliver a management regime that will secure a sustainable and profitable future of the fleet.
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