07-12-2011 : McArthur Welcomes United Front On Fisheries
Liam McArthur, MSP for Orkney, today met with Alan Coghill, President of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation to discuss upcoming EU fisheries negotiations and, in particular, the recent European Commission threats to substantially limit the days at sea allowed to vessels catching cod. The meeting at Holyrood coincided with a statement to Parliament by the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment on the Cod Recovery Plan.
Commenting following the meeting and the statement, Mr McArthur said:
“This was a useful opportunity to meet Alan Coghill in his capacity as President of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation and to catch up on a range of issues facing the fishing sector nationally, as well as the implications locally in Orkney.
“It is clear, as we approach another year-end EU Fisheries Council, that Scotland’s fishing industry faces many challenges. This situation is made immeasurably worse by threats from the European Commission to impose sanctions on the UK and other Member States that would see drastic cuts in the number of days vessels could spend at sea.
“These ill-conceived, unjustified and potentially disastrous proposals have prompted a united response from Scottish and UK Ministers, the fishing industry and groups such as RSPB Scotland and WWF Scotland. Thanks to these efforts, the Commission has taken this proposal off the table for now. However, this is likely to return in the New Year. It is vital therefore that a united front is maintained and the Commission is made to realise that their position is not only based on flawed evidence, but would have a devastating impact on Scotland’s fishing fleet and future conservation efforts”.