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Scottish Fishermens Federation to meet with UK Fisheries Minister

SCOTLAND - The Scottish Fishermens Federation will hold its first meeting with new UK Fisheries Minister Jonathan Shaw today (1 October) in London.

The Federation delegation will comprise president Ian Gatt, vice-presidents James Brown and David Shiel, and chief executive Bertie Armstrong.

They will use the occasion to outline to the minister the predominant role that Scotland plays in UK fishing and its desire for Scotland to take the lead role in fisheries negotiations with the EU.

“We will tell the minister that we believe the Scottish industry needs to have a bigger say in all the key decision making processes, given the proportion of the UK fishing fleet that fishes from Scotland,” said SFF chief executive Bertie Armstrong.

Meanwhile, the Federation will also brief the minister on the current state of the Scottish fleet, including its viability and the condition of the main target fish stocks.

The SFF will highlight the Scottish fishing industry’s commitment to a responsible and sustainable future, pointing to the package of practical conservation measures being actively developed by the industry in co-operation with the Scottish government and fisheries scientists.

With the end-of-the-year negotiations on catching opportunity for 2008 now looming, the SFF will tell the Minister that the Scottish fleet cannot sustain any further cuts in the number of days allowed to fish at sea. It will also underline that in the mixed fisheries regime operated by Scottish fishermen, any further reductions in the cod quota would be totally unacceptable and counter-productive.