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UK Support Vital for Fuel Aid Package

UK - The Scottish Fishermens Federation has called on the UK and Scottish Governments to take the lead in supporting the fishing industry, following the EC Council of Fisheries Ministers meeting in Luxembourg where fuel was one of the key issues for discussion.

Final proposals for a package of support measures for European fishing fleets will be decided next month, but what is clear at this stage is that while some European financial help may be available, the bulk of the funding will need to come from individual member states, the fishermen's federation said.

According to SFF chief executive Bertie Armstrong, if the UK fails to deliver support, this could deliver a fatal blow to segments of the fleet.

"It would lead to the nightmare scenario where some European fishing fleets will gain aid to help see them through the fuel crisis, while the Scottish fleet is given nothing and is put at a severe competitive disadvantage," said Mr Armstrong.

"The Scottish fishing fleet is the third largest in Europe and it is imperative that we get support– otherwise our fishing industry could face the tragedy of an unplanned collapse."