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SFF Makes Demands To New Govt

SCOTLAND, UK - The Scottish Fishermens Federation will be calling for a new vision for Scottish fishing when they meet with First Minister Alex Salmond and Cabinet Secretary for Fisheries Richard Lochhead in Aberdeen tomorrow (11 February).

The meeting with the Scottish Government at the SFF offices comes with the Scottish election fast approaching. The Federation intends to use the occasion as an opportunity to lay down the key fishing headlines that the next Government – whatever hue it takes - must adopt.

Bertie Armstrong, SFF chief executive, said: “The first requirement at the start of a new parliament is a refreshed vision for Scottish fishing so as to deliver clear choices in policy-making.

“This vision must identify what size and shape of fleet would serve Scotland best. The SFF believes that the new government should aspire to ensure, where realistically possible, the financial viability of the existing fleet by avoiding artificially created and unnecessary reductions.

“We must have a renewed focus on pursuing sustainable catching opportunity, looking forward to stock improvements in the near future. While careful attention to the way our fisheries are managed is vitally important, the next Government’s priority must be on maximising the prospects for the fleet.

“With a recession-driven retrenchment of publicly funded activity, we must also make absolutely sure that fisheries science takes every advantage of the offer from industry to work in partnership with scientists to provide the data necessary for accurate stock assessment, thereby producing the best sustainable fishing opportunities.

“The next Government must also recognise the importance of fishing to our coastal communities and the economic infrastructure this valuable and sustainable industry supports. We expect this to be visible in policy decisions. For example, planning decisions on renewable energy projects must take full account of the traditional users of the sea.”

the Fish Site Editor

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