Mixed reaction from fishing industry to quota agreement

The Shetland Fishermen’s Association (SFA) has welcomed news its monkfish quota will not be cut by 30 per cent next year.

But executive officer Simon Collins said the industry “should never have faced” such a drop to a valuable species in the first place.

The UK government today (Tuesday) announced a deal with the EU for 2023, which it says will see the fishing industry benefit from 140,000 tonnes extra next year.

However Mr Collins was simply relieved that their monkfish quota had not been slashed by 30 per cent, as had been mooted.

“This made no sense to our members or the wider Scottish industry,” he said.

“Ministers agreed to prioritise monkfish, and – justified through scientific evidence provided by fishermen –negotiated a less extreme reduction.

“However, we should never have faced a 30 per cent cut to monkfish quotas in the first place.”.

The SFA executive said that figure was based on “uncertain stock assessment results”, which had been affected by Covid.

“Fishermen have been vindicated over North Sea cod quotas, and are sure they will be vindicated again when scientific recommendations for monkfish catch up to reality,” he said.

“People should understand that no-one has a greater interest in sustainable fishing than the fishermen and the communities whose futures depend upon it.”


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