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Scottish Fishermen Criticise House of Lords over Fuel Stance

by Ellen Hardy
22 July 2008, at 1:00am

SCOTLAND - The Scottish Fishermen's Federation has hit out at the House of Lords for failing to back them over action in the fuel crisis.

The SFF said it welcomed much of the content of a comprehensive House of Lords committee report on the Common Fisheries Policy.

However the federation reacted angrily to the report’s contention that no aid should be given to help fishermen survive the fuel crisis.

SFF chief executive Bertie Armstrong said: "The report draws the general conclusion that EU Member States have been slow to reduce fleet capacity to match the available quota; the solution recommended is to leave the price of fuel to do its own decommissioning of the fleet through bankruptcy and also to direct any aid on additional decommissioning schemes.

"Neither the conclusion nor the solution makes any sense for Scotland - which has actually addressed overcapacity – a fact noted in the body of the report. Our salvation will lie in a mix of short, medium and long term measures.

"We must make a transition to a sustainable future, but do so in a way that retains an industry capable of accessing our wonderful natural resource.

"Being left to the wolves will certainly achieve a reduction in capacity, but it will be in the form of a collapse of areas of the industry plus the infrastructure and communities which support it."

Ellen Hardy