17 December, 2008
WITH the European Commission’s fisheries council starting its annual quota talks
today (Wednesday), all eyes are on the threat to close all fishing for cod,
haddock and whiting off Scotland’s west coast.
Shetland Fishermen’s Association has warned that any ban on west coast fishing
could see more boats working the islands’ traditional grounds.
Fisheries secretary Richard Lochhead hopes to overturn the proposal, while
winning a rollover on prawn quotas and gaining an increase in monkfish and
Mr Lochhead admitted whitefish stocks were low off the west coast, but said the
closure plan was “completely unacceptable”.
He said he would be putting forward “a robust counter proposal” to protect the
nephrops fishery, worth £45 million on the west coast.
"By working with, and listening to, fishermen the Scottish government has put
forward a coherent and positive package of measures which are not based on blunt
closures, but on clever ways of operating,” he said.
"The package includes the use of larger nets, selective gear inside nets which
increase the number of whitefish able to escape and increased use of real time
and season closures on the west coast, which have proven very effective in the
The government says that 350 boats and 500 processing jobs could be hit by the