Shetland MSP, Scottish Liberal Democrat Beatrice Wishart, asked the First Minister about fishing safety today. Raising the concerns of a constituent, Ms Wishart asked the First Minister what the Scottish Government is doing to help protect vessels and workers at sea.
Ms Wishart quoted Jason Campbell on reports of non-UK fishing vessels ‘dumping all their fishing gear overboard’. The First Minister said she would be happy to contact Jason with the Scottish Government’s measures on this issue.
Ms Wishart also wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands in August to ask for the Scottish Government’s support in stopping marine dumping.
After the question time Ms Wishart said:
“I was pleased to hear from Jason, and he is right. We have to do more to protect our fishermen and address safety issues around non-local boats.
“Just because someone’s place of work is at sea it cannot be a case of “out of sight, out of mind”.
“More needs to be done to stop vessels dumping gear and litter in our seas. It’s dangerous and bad for the environment.
“A littered ocean floor will not help fishing to continue as a viable industry.”
Notes to Editors
You can see a copy of Ms Wishart’s letter to the Cabinet secretary here.
Ms Wishart’s question to the First Minister (Check against delivery):
My constituent, Jason Campbell, a young person who I am told has met with the First Minister and read a poem on fishing, has raised with me concerns about the safety of fishermen including some of his friends.
There are reports of non-UK fishing vessels, and to quote Jason: ‘dumping all their fishing gear overboard”.
This is dangerous as well bad for the marine environment. Jason also asks why fishery patrol vessels are not doing more at sea to protect our vessels. First Minister, can you tell Jason what is being done to keep our fishing vessels and those on board them safe at sea?”