WATCH: Fisheries minister warning over Brexit

Isles fishing and aquaculture businesses will receive funding of £1.6m it was announced by Fergus Ewing during a visit to Lerwick today when the Scottish fisheries minister vowed he would be fighting for the fishing industry in the run up to Brexit.

The package was part of £8m announced for Scottish fishing and aquaculture which includes £6m funding from the EU.

Mr Ewing (centre) with some of the Shetland skippers.

A total of seven Shetland projects received support including £1.17m for Blueshell Mussels for improvement of facilities at aquaculture sites, £696,000 for SSQC to develop a biotoxin testing service and £498,00 for QA Fish Ltd.

Mr Ewing also announced £11,500 for safety equipment for the catching sector at a pierhead meeting with skippers this morning prior to his attendance at a meeting of the Convention of the Highlands and Islands at Mareel. He was joined by fellow government ministers John Swinney, Humza Yousaf, Keith Brown, among around 30 delegates at the meeting.

Announcing the funds, Mr Ewing said: “This £8 million investment will encourage growth and protect jobs in the sea fisheries and aquaculture industry by allowing businesses to upgrade technology and buy new equipment.

“This is just one example of why EU funding is so important as it is helping the sea fisheries sector improve the quality of its products and enabling them to develop more environmentally friendly methods.

“We are committed to doing everything we can to overcome the damage Brexit will cause to jobs, trade, education and to our public services. In everything we do, we will continue to champion our shared interests and provide reassurances to fishing communities.”

He said the money would help buy safety equipment for about 20 inshore fishing boats.

SFA executive officer Simon Collins said: “The safety of fishermen is paramount, and this association has long championed the welfare of its members. We’re pleased to be receiving financial support to further our goals in this area.”

On the future of fishing post Brexit, Mr Ewing said that fishing was extremely important for Scotland, particularly Shetland, and he was determined to get the best deal possible.

Mr Ewing added: “I am worried that the UK Government signals are that they are prepared to trade away access to our exclusive economic fishing zone as part of a wider Brexit fishing negotiation.

“The Scottish Government will argue strongly against that and we must have a voice in the negotiations. This Thursday I will be putting these points to the UK ministers. They cannot trade away Scotland’s valuable fishing resource.”


Add Your Comment
  • Ali Inkster

    • February 20th, 2017 15:16

    So westminster can not be allowed to trade away our fishing interests but the holyrood can and will by taking us back into the EU?

    • John Tulloch

      • February 20th, 2017 19:34

      Vintage SNP humbug! How on earth can they go on television and say that with a straight face?

      Politicians are notorious for hypocrisy but no other party is even in the same league.

  • David Spence

    • February 20th, 2017 22:55

    I may be wrong, but before the EU was brought into the Fishing Industry, there little if no proper regulation within this industry in the UK?

    I seriously think Brexit will be damaging to the fishing industry, and like what the Tories did in 1974, such an industry will become ‘ expendable ‘, and Brexit will give it little attention.

    Under Brexit, what would be the UK Fishing Industries answer to monitoring fishing stocks, policing the sea’s, regulating themselves so as the industry can survive without the ‘ quick buck mentality and sucking the sea’s dry ‘, investing in the industry, encouraging people to take on the skills, stop British Fishing Boat Owners selling their license to Foreign Fishing Boats etc etc etc?

    How will the science and the development of the industry survive without EU Funding?

    No thanks to the Brexit lot, I fear the Scottish and Shetland will be regarded as expendable, and just like the fishing industry has caused the extinction of many species, they themselves may become extinct.

    • ian tinkler

      • February 21st, 2017 11:20

      “How will the science and the development of the industry survive without EU Funding?” The UK gives millions and millions into the EU squander machine, just a pittance comes back, often targeted at the ludicrous and unnecessary. Just look at the way the grants go and what the money (our money is allocated to). Brussels’ top bureaucrat will then pocket a £52,500 pension for life. Arch-federalist Mr Juncker will get a basic salary of £245,629 a year – worth more than £1.2million over a five-year term. Not bad when he is usually totaled by dinner time? (Better a drunken, useless federalist than an effective, sober one)

      • David Spence

        • February 21st, 2017 12:20

        I suppose Ian, the sciences and the development of science can get a piece of the £350 million a week pie the Brexit lot said would go towards the NHS.

        *** News Flash *** The NHS will not get any help from the Brexit lot, especially not £350 million a week going into it. (in fact, we will break it up and privatise it)

        Any way Ian, you did not answer the question : How will the Science and the development of the industry survive without EU Funding ?

      • Ian Tinkler

        • February 21st, 2017 17:49

        David Spence, exactly as it did before we joined the EU. it is no surprise UK Universities are well ahead , on the World Scale, of most European Universities. They were before the EU and still are. A bit of a tight race with the USA but we hold our own in the Sciences, that is England sadly Scotland is slipping fast in world ranking, the Salmond Sturgeon effect!! All cheap, free and mediocre as a result. Just in case you did not notice, the economy and industry are booming in the UK since the Brexit referendum, sadly Europe is not. Yet again Greece is failing!!

  • Wullie Watt

    • February 21st, 2017 1:47

    Ali, Fergus Ewing is on record for an EFTA agreement, bit like Norway , still able to trade but complete control of our waters, think that’s a pretty good deal so the Scots boats don’t get hammered by WTO trade tariffs, don’t let your blind hatred of a party kill the markets pelagic sector will survive but not the rest of them, mind you am sure you could always hold a referendum and hang onto England’s shirt tails and get a 12nm EEA as an enclave if Scotland goes independentt

    • Ali Inkster

      • February 21st, 2017 12:41

      SNP policy is to remain in or rejoin the EU in its entirety, and that includes the CFP. They may claim that they won’t be bound by the CFP but it is not up to them it is part and parcel of being a member of the EU.

  • ian tinkler

    • February 21st, 2017 11:07

    I have read some arrant nonsense in my time but Ewing really takes he biscuit. After Brexit, with luck, the Uk may just regain its fishing waters. With Sturgeon wedded to the EU and appeasing Spanish fisherman (her only hope of avoiding Spanish veto on EU membership) Scotland’s waters will be CFP. Quite where Wullie is coming from with “Scots boats don’t get hammered by WTO trade tariffs” and his poor joke “Fergus Ewing is on record for an EFTA agreement” one can but speculate. Firstly, WTO seafood tariffs are averaging at 14%, hardly a hammering as the 20% depreciation in sterling more than compensates. As for EFTA, with Shetland autonomy and our own 200 mile EEZ or mid-way zones Wullie seems a bit too propagandist for credibility. (Another SNP mouthpiece perhaps?)

  • John thorburn

    • February 21st, 2017 13:31

    Sorry for butting in ( honestly the last time) but I’m just amazed that someone can honestly believe that the EU can resolve the fisheries to our (UK that is) satisfaction. So I’m just reposting what I said in a previous letter.

    Mr Spence I was involved closely in the fishing industry and yes it was regulated before EU days even in our little village the fishery officer constantly checked gear, landings and fish sizes ditto at Eyemouth, Amble and NorthShields. Sizes and regulations were as I found out through first hand knowledge not what all our continental friends followed.

    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.

    • David Spence

      • February 21st, 2017 15:53

      I stand corrected, John. Thank you for the information.

      I must confess, my knowledge of such things is limited, but by the same token, I have not heard or been convinced of what Brexit will do in regards to the fishing industry, especially this of Scotland and Shetland, within the UK? Whether the Scottish Government has greater powers than Westminster (Brexit) I am unsure of, but I would suspect Westminster will probably have the final say?

      If May has to negotiate with all other member states within the EU, I would presume this would also involve ‘ fishing rights ‘ to where fishing is permitted? Whether the UK can go back to fishing rights before 1974, I am sceptical.

      Even although it has been 8 months since the EU Referendum and Article 50, will commence at the end of March, I believe, I fear Brexit, as mentioned, will give little credence to the fishing industry. I do hope Scotland and Shetland can come up with a deal which will benefit the islands moreso than what was before, lets say.

  • John Tulloch

    • February 21st, 2017 13:38

    EFTA? Really, Wullie Watt? Maybe the SNP’s own website is behind the times?

    “What is the SNP’s position on the EU?

    “The SNP believes that membership of Europe Union is in Scotland’s best interests……….

    “We hope and believe that people in Scotland and across the UK will vote decisively to stay part of the EU. But we take nothing for granted. So we will campaign passionately and positively for an “in” vote, to remain in the EU.”


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