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SFF Highlights Measures for Sustainable Industry

UK - A meeting in Edinburgh of the Scottish Fisheries Council the Scottish Governments fisheries management and development forum has heard of the massive challenges that lie ahead for the fishing industry in 2009.

The biggest of these will be to develop a strategy and management plan that will enable fishermen to discard less fish, whilst at the same time land more of their catch so as to ensure good stock conservation and reduce waste.

Bertie Armstrong, SFF chief executive, who was present at the meeting, said: “This is not as simple as it sounds and represents a very difficult challenge for fishermen.”

As part of the strategy to meet these aspirations, the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation agreed to a plan that will involve the profiling of landings to meet the needs of the market - in other words, to land amounts and types of fish which are in highest market demand at any specific time.

“This will involve close liaison between processors, fishermen and the market as a whole,” said Bertie Armstrong.

Meanwhile, given the difficult economic climate, the SFF and all stakeholders underlined at the meeting the need for financial liquidity protection measures to ensure that fishermen remain in business. In particular, fishermen are looking for Government assurance and guarantees – particularly in the export market – that fishermen will continue to receive payment for the products that they sell.

“We believe it is essential for the fishing industry to have some kind of payment guarantee or protection system in place to ensure that the fleet remains viable,” said Mr Armstrong.

the Fish Site Editor

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