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Misleading Comments Made by European Officer for Scottish Parliament Criticised

Lucy Towers
28 January 2013, at 12:00am

SCOTLAND, UK - The contention made by Dr Ian Duncan, European Officer for the Scottish Parliament, that fish processing jobs in Scotland are dependent upon imports of mackerel from Iceland is wrong, says the Scottish Fishermens Federation.

At a meeting of the European and External Relations Committee yesterday, Dr Duncan appeared to suggest that a lot of pelagic processing jobs in Shetland and north-east Scotland depended upon mackerel imported from Iceland, and for that reason MSPs should not push for sanctions against Iceland.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermens Federation, said: We are surprised by Dr Duncans comments because there has never been any processing of Icelandic caught mackerel in Scottish processing facilities, and there has been no processing of Faroese mackerel in Scotland since the start of this dispute.

Therefore, sanctions against Iceland and the Faroes would have no impact upon Scottish processing plants. Indeed, we believe the imposition of sanctions would help focus minds and lead to a resolution to the over-fishing of mackerel by Iceland and the Faroes, which would benefit everyone.

We would urge Dr Duncan to keep in closer contact with the Scottish fishing industry so that he is fully aware of the facts.