Weekly Overview: Fishing Organisations Urge Government to Secure Better Fishing Opportunities

28 June 2016, at 1:00am

ANALYSIS - Last week the UK held its EU referendum with the leave vote triumphant. Following the decision, fishing organisations stressed that it is important that governments in Edinburgh and London to work with them to secure better fishing opportunities.

Leaders of the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association and Shetland Fishermen’s Association said that most of their members had wanted out of the EU.

But they emphasised that the UK’s exit would not bring long-term benefits unless there was now close collaboration with Holyrood and Westminster on new UK and Scottish fisheries policy.

SFA executive officer Simon Collins said: “We will be looking to work together with politicians and civil servants in Edinburgh and London to focus on helping the industry secure improved fishing opportunities and a set of practical, sensible rules that everyone can adhere to while preserving livelihoods and fish stocks.”

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, explained that he believes Scottish fishermen have at last now got the ability to recover proper, sustainable and rational stewardship through its own Exclusive Economic Zone for fisheries, just like Norway, Iceland and the Faroes.

“With the Scottish Parliament emergency debate taking place today (28 June) aimed at the Scottish Government getting a mandate for arguing against the referendum result and attempting to stay in the EU, it must not be forgotten that the whole of the Scottish fishing community – who sustainably harvest seafood from some of the best fishing grounds in the world – does not agree with this stance in the slightest.

“For Scotland’s economically important fishing industry, we believe the new opportunities presented by the referendum result are overwhelmingly for the better - Scottish Parliamentarians must carefully consider all views as they make their decisions on the way forward.”

In other news, a breakthrough has been made in fighting sea lice resistance thanks to a new sea lice treatment programme from Benchmark Animal Health.

The programme, which uses Salmosan® Vet product in combination with low salinity water, has been proven in trials to kill all stages of lice, including those resistant to azamethiphos - a frequently used sea lice medication.

The programme also substantially reduces the time the fish need to spend in a low salinity water treatment therefore reducing stress on the fish and allowing more efficient use of treatment facilities.