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Fishing Study Highlights Economic Pressures

by the Fish Site Editor
10 September 2009, at 1:00am

SCOTLAND - A new study on the impact of the economic downturn and conservation measures on the fishing industry has been published by the Scottish Government.

The study was commissioned by the Scottish Government earlier this year to demonstrate to the European Commission the financial difficulties facing fishermen.

Carried out by economists at industry authority Seafish, it looked at the current and future impacts on fleets of fuel and fish prices, quota reductions and restrictions on days at sea.

The study found that this year fuel and fish prices are the key factors affecting the profits of the nephrops (prawn/langoustine) sector. Additional restrictions proposed by Europe for 2010 are estimated to have a further impact but, even without these, the sector is likely to remain financially fragile.

For the demersal (cod, haddock and whiting) sector, the report indicates that days at sea restrictions have a critical impact and additional restrictions proposed by Europe for 2010 would result in some fishing operations making a net loss.

Commenting on the study, Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "Fishing is a tough way of life at the best of times but this year the combined effect of the economic climate and the tough restrictions imposed by Europe has made life particularly difficult for our fishermen.

"We have stressed this point a number of times in our dealings with the European Commission and commissioned this study to provide robust evidence. It shows just how economically fragile our fleets are.

"We are about to enter the annual round of autumn negotiations in Europe, when crucial decisions are taken on quotas and days at sea. This study will help inform our negotiating position and, as a first step, we will be discussing it with Commission officials later this month."

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

the Fish Site Editor