Wishart: urgent action needed on fisheries

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart has called for urgent action from government to resolve issues hampering Scotland’s fishing industry. Ms Wishart made the comments after a statement in Holyrood on the management of Scotland’s fisheries.

During the statement, Ms Wishart noted that the Shetland fleet is “bitterly disappointed” by the content of the Brexit fisheries agreement. She sought assurances from the Rural Economy Secretary that the local industry be fully involved in designing a workable catching policy to replace the CFP landing obligation.

Ms Wishart is calling on the UK Government and Scottish Government to work together to urgently resolve trade issues damaging Scottish seafood exporters and make sure they are adequately compensated.

Ms Wishart said:

“Michael Gove and his officials assured me at a committee session in December that planning was in place to ensure perishable goods wouldn’t be held up and they would arrive in market on time. Sadly, but not surprisingly, those assurances have amounted to nothing and Scottish seafood exporters are losing a £1m every day due to the UK Government's failure to secure a grace period for their trading. The industry is caught in a sea of red tape, never mind the sea of opportunity that was promised.

“We need urgent action from the UK Government, working with the Scottish Government, to get freight moving and vessels back to sea. Part of that must be compensation for businesses financially affected through no fault of their own.

“The Shetland Fishing industry is understandably disappointed with the outcome of Brexit negotiations. Island voices need to be fully involved in designing new policies to guarantee the long-term success of this important industry for Shetland.”

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