27th May 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

‘Pelagic fleet to lose out again’

A pelagic processors association has warned that the UK is set to lose out again as talks get under way on setting next year’s total allowable catch (TAC).

Representatives of mackerel fisheries from the EU, Norway and the Faroe Islands have been meeting in Bergen to decide what will follow this year’s huge increase in the north east Atlantic mackerel TAC. The talks are the latest in a series of summits between representatives.

Scottish Pelagic Processors Association (SPPA) has warned they expect to be disadvantaged again as Iceland and the Faroe Islands continue to gain.

SPPA chairman Ian McFadden said: “While responsible measures by the EU and Norway have ensured we have a sustainable mackerel stock, we are increasingly disadvantaged in the global market.

“Earlier this year we saw the Faroe Islands take a much bigger share of the mackerel quota than expected, while also winning the right to fish in Scottish waters when mackerel is in premium condition.”

Mr McFadden said that the Faroese government had introduced new tax measures to discourage landings into Scotland, which meant high quality mackerel is now being processed in the Faroe Islands. The rate of taxation on landings outside Faroe has been set at a prohibitive £200 per tonne, equal to 30 per cent of the current price for fresh mackerel.

“This is of real concern because the Scottish processing industry has always offered a premium product but by setting the taxation rates so highly there is no other logical conclusion than to sail back to Faroe to land their catch. This is a real disappointment to the Scottish processing industry when there has been a willingness from Faroese vessels to land to Scottish processors as they did in the past,” said Mr McFadden.

“Added to this we are seeing others access markets we can’t. The Russian trade embargo has cut off a key market for us and opened it to significant deals with processors in Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

“And now we believe the Faroe Islands are close to a free Trade Agreement with Turkey. This is another good market for mackerel but we are excluded by high import duty.

“While we appreciate these issues cannot be addressed during this week’s TAC negotiations, we urge politicians and representatives in industry to address these unfair trading conditions. Mackerel processing alone is worth over £324 million to the economy and supports around 2,260 jobs.”

About Peter Johnson

Reporter for The Shetland Times. I have also worked as an employed and freelance reporter and editor for a variety of print and broadcast media outlets and as as a freelance photographer and film maker/cameraman. In addition to journalism, I have experience in construction, oil analysis, aquaculture, fisheries, the health service and oral history.

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6 comments

  1. Ali Inkster

    There is a solution to this Shetland fields a independent candidate at the next general election. If they win then next year we could be representing ourselves at the negotiations, we would also get a large part of our market back without the EU sanctions on Russia applying.

    Reply
    • John Jamieson

      Dey wid be sittin furt, just laek da Scottish ministers hae ta dö enoo.

      Reply
      • Ali Inkster

        Whit wye dat John?

  2. Sandy McMillan

    What a shambles allowing foreign fishing in Scottish waters, Shetland has to get powers of it’s own, so as to stop this what is basically stealing, from right under our nose, where are these guys that represent our fishermen, yes Shetland fishermen at Government level.
    They must be pretty hopeless when it comes to the negotiating table letting these foreigners rule the high seas; they are nothing more than pirates, I believe our boats cant fish in there exclusion zone so why should they be allowed in our waters, exclusion zone not large enough, they seemingly have a 200 mile zone and poor old Shetland has a 12 miles limit, some thing wrong with the arithmetic would you not say, All of the Shetland fleet have quotas from the Super Trawlers down to the small Shell fish boats.
    There has to be a way to keep these intruders out of our waters, the limits should be the same right across the table, is it Westminster, Holyrood, or the EU, Who ever it is someone some where has to get there finger out and get this mess sorted out, no matter what is proposed for Shetland be it wind farms, Farming, Fishing, Shetland just lets it go, and walk away with there tail between there legs.
    Surely Shetland or rather Shetlanders, have got what it takes to stand up against these guys, and hold out for what is rightfully Shetlands.

    Reply
  3. Joe Adam-Smith

    Just found this article so the response is a bit late. I would like to ask your readers if there are any further reasons required to leave the EU. Time and again, the EU has devastated the Scottish fishing industry, indeed, the UK fishing industry. But, time and again, the LibLabConSNP has consistently said that remaining within the EU is good for the Scottish peoples. This article shows that lie for what it is. Leaving the EU is not only necessary for our sovereignty, but necessary for the Scottish fishing industry.

    Reply
  4. laurence paton

    Well said Ali & Joe Adam Smith !

    Sandy , it’s quite ridiculous of you to insult the Faroese and Icelanders as pirates .

    They know clearly that there very existence depends upon maintaining a viable fishing industry as it is there primary and most important industry that maintains there economy.

    We should admire there self determination and follow their lead.

    Unfortunately we have suffered from a political elite who have blatantly lied to us for decades to keep us shackled with the undemocratic E.U.
    Why?
    Money , our political class know fine well they would lose out financially by giving up the Brussel’s gravy train, just look at the fortunes the likes of socialist champions such as Neil Kinnock , Catherine Ashton and countless many others have made from within this overseas politburo.

    They have happily sacrificed our sovereignty and power to control our own affairs for undemocratic positions of power and their own financial gain.

    If I am wrong you would think someone from our political representatives would write on here and correct me on the benefits of letting an undemocratic overseas politburo control our fishing ground , agriculture etc etc …….. but they never do ?

    Reply

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