Scottish Liberal Democrat and Shetland MSP, Beatrice Wishart, spoke for Shetland fishing fleet in a Scottish Government debate on 2021 Coastal States Negotiations. Ms Wishart raised the immediate priorities of Shetland’s fishermen: agreeing an increase in the North Sea cod quota, avoiding a cut in the ling quota and pressure on neighbours to reverse the unilateral increases in mackerel quotas announced this year.
Ms Wishart outlined to the Cabinet Secretary reasons to increase Cod quotas. She also highlighted the view of local fishermen that they are unfairly targeted by fisheries protection vessels compared to those from non-UK countries.
Ms Wishart also encouraged the consideration of holding at least one round of Coastal States talks in Shetland, the heart of Scotland’s richest fishing grounds.
After the debate Ms Wishart said:
“I am pleased that I was able to be a conduit to the Scottish Government about the issues facing Shetland’s fishing fleet. I will press for the Scottish Government to take account of these concerns.
“Shetland relies on the seas, and those working on and around it, and I will continue to voice the concerns of industry.
“I am hearing that the science and the reality on the fishing grounds are not matching up. We need a system that is in tune with reality and instils confidence in those governed by it.”