Winning back control (John Tulloch)

Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech on Britain’s EU exit objectives raises concern for the Shetland (and UK) fishing industry.

She specifically mentioned “Spanish fishermen”, along with German exporters and French farmers, etc, as being among those who would suffer in the event of a punitive deal being imposed on Britain.

Mrs May said: “And I do not believe that the EU’s leaders will seriously tell German exporters, French farmers, Spanish fishermen, the young unemployed of the eurozone, and millions of others, that they want to make them poorer, just to punish Britain and make a political point.”

If Britain takes back all fishing rights, Spanish fishermen will suffer, automatically. However, Mrs May’s comment seems to suggest that they will only be worse off if the EU attempts to punish Britain for leaving, thus forcing UK retaliation on, among other things, fishing rights?

Shetland’s fishing industry can only ever be secure by winning irrevocable local control of the fishing grounds.

John Tulloch


Add Your Comment
  • John Burns

    • January 18th, 2017 14:51

    Perhaps it is time for the Shetlands and Orkneys to link up with the Isle of Man in a loose confederation, take control of your fisheries and oil money. With a common Celtic and Nordic back ground , you would be singing from the same hymn sheet.
    If Scotland goes for independence after winning the referendum , guess what will be sacrificed to stop the spanish turning down Scotlands application, access to the fishing grounds!
    By linking in with the Isle of Man you could benefit from their long experience of managing their own affairs and finances. Keeping a general link with the rest of the UK would allow free access into the main market for Shetland products. On a defence point of view you could argue for a Royal Navy base and RAF airbase, this would be a major boost to jobs in the long term and you could ensure at least one or two patrol ships to protect your fishing waters.Just food for thought.

    • Aaron Smith

      • January 18th, 2017 17:00

      Dunna keen why we would need or want to get involved with the Isle Of Man?

  • Gordon Harmer

    • January 18th, 2017 16:56

    There was always going to be some kind of concession over fishing with Spain when we leave the EU, because of Gibraltar. Mrs May made it perfectly clear at PMQs that we would be pulled totally free of the disaster that is the Common Fisheries Policy when we leave the EU. A small concession to Spain will not break the bank especially as it will be a concession which will be there to respect the wish of the People of Gibraltar to stay British. A wish I think we should respect especially as the wishes of the British and Scottish electorate in two referendums are being undermined by antidemocratic factions in Holyrood and Westminster.

  • David Spence

    • January 18th, 2017 23:22

    I am intrigued John, as to what right does Shetland has to claim any fishing grounds greater than the 3 mile limit they have at the moment without having to negotiate with other countries.

    I very much doubt that the UK, Scotland or Shetland can use the EEZ as a reason to further fishing rights without conflicting with Norway, Iceland, Faroes and EU countries also dependent on fishing.

    I must confess, my knowledge of fishing and the complexities surrounding is very much limited. However, like in 1974, I fear the Conservatives and Theresa May will regard Scottish/Shetland Fishing as expendable. This is, potentially, in light of what could be another Scottish Independence Referendum.

    However, I also think the UK Fishing Industry would not be able to regulate itself, and if it was granted EEZ, fish stocks would vastly decline due to the ‘ quick buck mentality ‘ and the British Fishing Industry’s inability to safeguard and secure fishing rights in international waters. I fear the cost of policing would outweigh the benefits, potentially.

    I would also anticipate Brexit would be damaging to British Fishing on the basis of short-term gain and to hell with the long term consequences.

    • Robin Stevenson

      • February 3rd, 2017 16:07

      Your fears have (sadly) taken a step towards becoming the reality, David, everyone and their granny tried to tell poor trusting (and somewhat gullible) Mr Tulloch that the Scottish fishing industry would be used once again as a bargaining chip by Mays government to get concessions with the EU to benefit London, much as they did back in the 70’s.

      One does wonder, how often people like Oor John here, need the proverbial ‘kick in the teeth’ by our UK government before they finally realise they’re being taken for chumps?

      Brexit white paper:

      8.16 In 2015, EU vessels caught 683,000 tonnes (£484 million revenue) in UK waters and
      UK vessels caught 111,000 tonnes (£114 million revenue) in Member States’ waters.51 Given
      the heavy reliance on UK waters of the EU fishing industry and the importance of EU waters
      to the UK, it is in both our interests to reach a mutually beneficial deal that works for the UK
      and the EU’s fishing communities. Following EU exit, we will want to ensure a sustainable
      and profitable seafood sector and deliver a cleaner, healthier and more productive marine

      • John Tulloch

        • February 10th, 2017 7:53

        @Robin Stevenson,

        That is a lie. I have never said anything other than that neither government can be trusted with the fishing and have provided many referenced rebuttals of your repeated false claims in the past. From my last letter to the media before the EU referendum:

        “It’s true that, should Britain leave, Shetland’s interests would still be at risk. Neither Holyrood nor Westminster may be trusted to protect them. Only we can do that…etc…..”.

      • ian_tinkler

        • February 10th, 2017 13:08

        Robin Stevenson, are you so ill informed, ignorant or just plain stupid so as not to know, John Tulloch, has never made any claim towards trusting the UK Government with Shetland’s fishing? Just a very simple fact for you, if Shetland fishermen want to be clear of the CFP, in an Independent Scotland as a member of the EU, they will be tied to the CFP by the soft and squashy bits for eternity, outside the EU, at least the position is negotiable. With full Shetland autonomy, then Shetland will control its own waters.

      • Robin Stevenson

        • February 14th, 2017 23:28

        Oh! DO give me peace about how you never advocated a UK government over a Scottish government John. ….Who did you choose to be your UK affiliated political party spokesperson for WIR?…. Tavish Scott…… Who does he represent?…. Lib/Dems….. Where’s their head office and who do they take their orders from?….. London.

        So please spare me the nonsense about “we don’t trust either government”,… Of course you do, you’ve made your decision, they have (once again) sold your fishing industry out, the sad part is, you STILL don’t get it? Whether you choose Labour, Tory or Lib/Dems is irrelevavant, they are ALL the same party of different colours, The ‘establishment’,…All three of these Westminster parties will do everything in their power to retain control, much like your wee Shetland miniscule oil fund, you’ve been played like an old fiddle… if it wasn’t so sad it’d be laughable.

        You, Ian. and a couple of others, doing the dirty work on behalf of the establishment…. Well done, one and all!

      • ian tinkler

        • March 6th, 2017 11:03

        Wow, Robin Stevenson calls me part of the establishment. I am fighting for full autonomy for Shetland folk, Robin Stevenson, just in case you had not noticed. What part of the establishment is that???

      • Victor Walker

        • March 22nd, 2017 21:31

        I don’t think that fishing rights around the UK were ‘given away’ as you seem to imply.
        They were a part of the EU Treaty which permits foreign fishing of the EU to fish right up to our shores. Equally, but not of much use, British fishing vessels can fish along the coasts of other EU countries . A point well understood with ongoing hostilies of French fishermen, towards fishing boats from the UK.

        I don’t see why the UK would wish to give its fishing waters away after departure from the EU, but they will certainly be under pressure to do so. Assuming that for the sake of negotiations that they have to cede certain quotas, they will almost certainly be better than the present arrangement when anybody with fishing tackle in the EU can fish our waters

  • John thorburn

    • February 10th, 2017 11:47

    On past experience I know who I would trust and it’s certainly not the EU, (I was a partner in a processing factory in Eyemouth) so I do have some first hand experience. Also in all the years we were processing I would still trust our UK boats to look after the long term longetivity of fish stocks. I remember in the Nineties getting samples of frozen Spanish H&G cod ( headed and gutted) they were obviously either close to the size limit or under size. Also I took a photo of French caught cod being landed into containers although they where headed they where definitely undersize. So I’m amused that we think that all the EU foreign boats will have changed to being upright citizens.

    Well bye Shetlanders “I’m hauding my wheesht and keeping my ane council” as Grandad Johnny from Fisherrow would say. I hope everything works out fishy wise for all you folks, remember the oil won’t last forever.

  • Vernon Vender

    • March 6th, 2017 9:42

    There are over 700,000 British subjects living in Spain. Each person probably imports a minimum of £150 per week from the UK, or they have imported their bank account into Spain. In addition most of them have brought the property that the live in, in Spain. So British ex pats living in Spain is of huge financial importance to the Spanish exchequer, so I don’t see that ‘fishing rights’ are really that important to Spain

  • Derick Tulloch

    • March 6th, 2017 10:52

    The current devolution settlement ‘reserves’ to Westminster policy areas that are specifically set out in Schedule 5 of the Scotland Act 1998. Everything else is assumed to fall under the remit of Holyrood.

    Which means that, as things stand, the fisheries powers currently held in Brussels will revert to the Scottish Parliament on Brexit, likely in March 2019.

    Both Theresa May and Ruth Davidson said last week that these powers will not come to Holyrood but will go to Westminster. To do this they will have to amend the Scotland Act to specifically remove fisheries powers from the Scottish Government.

    The obvious motivation for such an action is to allow Westminster to use fisheries as a bargaining chip for (from their perspective) more important sectors. Just as they did in 1973

    Otherwise, why would they propose this?

    • Ali Inkster

      • March 6th, 2017 17:16

      What was said was that not all powers repatriated from brussels would be handed to holyrood, but fishing and agriculture are devolved so they will be handed to holyrood.

    • ian tinkler

      • March 6th, 2017 19:28

      What an extraordinary piece of false logic from Derick Tullock! He fears May and Davidson could take the fisheries powers over Scottish waters to Westminster after Brexit! Yet is entirely happy for Sturgeon and the SNP/SG to gift them all to Brussels as a matter of absolute SNP policy in any case. The logic of his angst utterly escapes me. Derick hates Westminster fighting for UK fishermen and control of our waters so much he would rather hand it all over to to Europe. I think Shetland fishermen would have a words for such an actions, mostly unprintable. Surely yet another powerful reason for Shetland autonomy.

      • Graham Fleming 001

        • March 7th, 2017 19:35

        Westminster fighting for Scottish fisherman’s rights ay nay never.Living in fantasy world again Mr tinkler. To avoid the British state falling into military junta mode,fishing and agricultural remit MUST go to the Scottish parliament ,if Brexit goes ahead.The consequences will be another referendum I suggest a two question one this time federalism( lib/lab) or independence(snp/green)after all thats democracy folks.

      • ian tinkler

        • March 8th, 2017 17:28

        Do not make up little stories Grahm Fleming, nor put words in my mouth. Try the truth for a refreshing change. I support Shetland taking control of its own waters, not Europe, Westminster or Scotland. The fantasy here is your make believe and your utterly dumb comment.

      • Gordon Harmer

        • March 8th, 2017 20:15

        Like I said before Graham Fleming is not hot on research.

      • James Watt

        • March 9th, 2017 15:48

        “Like I said before Graham Fleming is not hot on research.

        Oh well that’s my mind put at ease, you can certainly trust an assurance from the Conservatives, my personal favourite was when honest Dave Cameron assured everyone that the Conservatives didn’t want to cut child tax credits or limit child benifits to just 2 children.

      • ian tinkler

        • March 9th, 2017 20:02

        James, how very relevant. now a further digression, once in a generation. lol. no need for a reference there. lol

      • James Watt

        • March 10th, 2017 14:18

        Sorry Ian, my comment was referring to previous assurances the Conservative government have given, then broken.

        I was replying to Gordon’s comment, he linked to an assurance from the Conservatives that fishing would not be used as a bargaining chip and I am questioning how much faith we should have in said assurance since the Conservative government hasn’t kept its word over previous assurances.

        I had honestly forgot to include directions so less agile readers like yourself could keep up with the conversation. Never mind just you go back to sleep and someone will wake you if we need in-depth analysis as to how bad the SNP is.

      • Ian Tinkler

        • March 11th, 2017 14:49

        James, how very relevant. now a further digression, “If reelected, we, the SNP, promise to cut ferry fairs”. lol, the reality: Monies to Shetland cut by 23 per cent over the past seven years. That was the SNP/SG. Funding to Scotland under the Barnett formula from Westminster, was actually increased during that time.

    • Victor Walker

      • March 22nd, 2017 21:37

      Wrong they cannot revert to Scotland . Fishing rights were a part of an EU requirement, and they were obtained from the UK, not Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland. They, therefore, return to the UK, it is logical however, that there will be more Scottish fishing vessels in Scottish waters and more English ones in English waters, that is geography, but there would be nothing to stop any of the other parts of the UK fishing in each other’s waters

  • ian tinkler

    • March 6th, 2017 10:58

    I don’t see that, “fishing rights’ are really that important to Spain”. Ignorance is such bliss!! Sadly stupidity is not a luxury the UK and Shetland can ill afford. ( however, the Spanish fishing fleet was by far the largest (343 thousand gross tonnes); this was close to twice as high as the next largest fleet). Now that would cover introduced funds of a few pensioners would it not, Vernon Vender?

  • David Spence

    • March 8th, 2017 10:45

    Ian, I am pretty sure this Tory Government will give the UK Fishing Industry, especially Scotland and Shetland, as much attention as they did in 1974. In other words, look upon such an industry as expendable and of little importance to the Tories or anybody else in that neck of the woods.

    Brexit (England) will do to the UK, what the Tories did to many of the industries which are now no longer, it will be a case of the UK, flying the flag in desperation in order to get some attention whilst Europe and the rest of the world standby and laugh at the stupidity of some people ‘ We must get our country back ‘ ‘ Fly the flag for the imperialist none existing British Empire ‘ mentality, hoping things will improve when in reality, well, for the next 10 – 20 years or more, it is 1 step forward, but about 5 steps back.

    If only Shetland, could have the strength, will and determination to look beyond Brexit, and become stronger without Brexit hanging on for dear mercy by the strings of a very dysfunctional Un-United Kingdom (excluding Shetland, of course).

    • Graham Fleming

      • March 8th, 2017 19:52

      I support my home towns Berwick upon tweed and surrounding sea returning to Scotland do you think Westminster cares what the majority thinks about this, – aye right.If Shetland ever got autonomy it would be done on their terms 3 miles of sea and anyway nobody has put it in their manifestos so the proposition has received NIL Votes.No deal.

      • Ali Inkster

        • March 9th, 2017 14:49

        The seas surrounding you were handed over to England on the signatures of 3 scotsmen and now a scotswoman wants to hand the rest of Scotlands waters over to the EU.

      • David Spence

        • March 9th, 2017 15:05

        Yes Graham, whilst we were part of the EU, I believe the distance from the coast you could call British/(EU?) waters was 12 miles, now, after Brexit, this has gone down to 3 miles. So, Brexit has certainly done the Fishing Industry a lot of good.

        As for the UK, expanding on the 3 mile limit, I very much doubt it. So, it seems, from a fishing point of view, we were better off under the EU, despite what the CFP entailed.

        Mind you, in saying this, I believe a lot of fishermen were selling their license to EU fishing boats, thus, I believe again, some EU fishing boats were allowed to fish in British waters……….but I may be wrong?

      • Ali Inkster

        • March 9th, 2017 21:01

        David du is writen da utter essence a sh**e, please go an read UNCLOS before commenting on the subject

  • ian_tinkler

    • March 9th, 2017 13:12

    Graham Fleming, do not be so very ignorant. The three mile limited is long outdated, (long cannon shot, a relic from the Napoleonic wars). The law of the sea ( the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) is very clear. I would advise you to read it up and stop such dumb comments. I give you a few references.

    • Graham Fleming

      • March 19th, 2017 14:26

      The three mile coastline was brought in on the devolution settlement by Westminster.The people of the Scottish Borders had no say on the matter.I remember phoning Drew Tulley the then convenor of the region which prompted an emergency resolution passed by all councillors of all political parties AGAINST the move.What rights do you honestly think peedie Shetland with 22000 folk would have -beggars belief.

      • ian tinkler

        • March 20th, 2017 9:59

        The Law of the Sea as laid down by the United Nations. Graham Fleming . Not a very simplistic prejudiced and ignorant parochial opinion. Take for example, peedie Falklands with 2,932 folk or peedie Faroe with 49,469 folk or peedie Alund Isles with 28,007 folk. “peedie Shetland with 22000 folk fits in rather well.

      • ian tinkler

        • March 20th, 2017 10:00

        Post script, what is a three mile coastline, a long beach?

  • David Spence

    • March 11th, 2017 14:42

    Even if the UK could implement an EEZ, I very much doubt the UK would have sole rights to such an area, especially when this area is in conflict with many other countries.

    Even under an UNCLOS Agreement, the UK, would not be the sole user of such an agreement since the distances involved and the conflict with other countries, which would also be entitled to use such area’s, which would happen would put such an agreement mute and unworkable.

    To say the UK, has the sole fishing, mineral or oil rights for large parts of the North Sea or even Atlantic Ocean/Arctic Ocean, in practice would not be feasible because of the political, economic conflicts this would cause with other countries, which would also be entitled to use such waters.

    Under Brexit, I am pretty sure there would be a vast difference in what was agreed upon to what is practical from a political/international point of view.

    • Ali Inkster

      • March 11th, 2017 22:37

      Please go and read UNCLOS again David, you obviously did not understand it the first time.

    • Victor Walker

      • March 22nd, 2017 21:42

      Up to 200 miles and split equally along the boundaries betwen ajacent countries following the natural curvatures of their coast lines !

  • Ian Tinkler

    • March 11th, 2017 21:54

    David, with Shetland autonomy, Shetland would have the choice. Who knows, we may even embrace the EU. We at least would make that choice ourselves.

    • David Spence

      • March 12th, 2017 20:39

      Ultimately Ian, the only real power Shetland would have would be for Scotland to prove it has legal sovereign rights to the islands. As well as this, I cannot see Scotland or the UK, especially under Brexit, allowing Shetland to have any control as long as Shetland is bringing in millions into the Scottish/UK economy.

      Many people may make fun and mock Stuart Hill, but atleast he had the courage and tenacity to truly question Scotland’s right to the islands, and did a lot, lot more than any Shetlander has ever done to determine Shetland true place………even though he did not get any backing or support from Shetlander’s……….mores the pity, as they say.

      The only way Shetland can have greater power is for the people of Shetland to voice their rights and say in having greater autonomy with determination and will.

      I am 100% sure if Shetland was to have greater powers, and to take greater advantage of its position in regards to oil and gas exploration, Shetland would be much more prosperous than what it is now.

  • Ian Tinkler

    • March 13th, 2017 17:17

    I agree David, however the real power at present lies with Westminster. Now with “the Indyref2” in prospect it would give, a once in a generation (lol) chance, for Shetland folk to make their views known. Not even the most rabid of Nationalist could, with any equity or honesty, begrudge Shetland folk the freedom of that choice . Interesting see who howls in protest at the prospect Shetland gaining autonomy from Scotland and the UK. For once I have something to thank Sturgeon for, nice one Nippy.

  • David Spence

    • March 14th, 2017 0:01

    People say about the Shetland Fishing will be better under Brexit, but I have my doubts about this, regardless to what the UN may have determined what territorial waters the UK may or may not have.

    If Scotland was to become independent, how would this affect the EEZ or UNCLOS? I am sure Scotland would have to renegotiate the Agreement since it would be deemed a separate state from what it was before, and how would this affect the Shetland Fishing?

    In regards to UNCLOS, who would be responsible for policing such large area’s of the North Sea/Atlantic, who would be responsible for the monitoring of fish stocks within or outwith UNCLOS, what other internatioinal trade agreements would the UK have to negotiate with other countries once Article 50 is invoked?

    In light of many countries sharing the boundaries of the North Sea/Atlantic/Arctic, I cannot see the UK, having the largest piece of this pie despite what was agreed upon 20 or so years ago.

    I am sure like any agreement, such agreements can amended and change to suit the international, political and economic circumstances of the times.

    • Victor Walker

      • March 22nd, 2017 21:44

      If the Shetlands is considered to be an onclave of Scotland, then the Shetlands could well be Scottish
      territorial waters


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