Confirmation that Scotland’s fishing fleet will not face a reduction in days at sea has been hailed as a significant victory for the industry in annual EU fishing negotiations.
The deal that has been struck will prevent automatic cuts in days at sea and quotas that were set to come into force next year. The progress made in the early hours of this morning comes on the back of an agreement earlier this week to drop proposals to cut Cod quotas by 20%.
The agreement secured increased quotas of 18% for West Coast Nephrops, 20% for West Coast Herring and while there will be a reduction in West Coast Haddock quotas of 30%, this follows a 200% increase that was agreed last year.
Quotas for further fish stocks will be confirmed after EU-Norway talks conclude at the end of January.
Commenting, SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson, whose constituency is home to Scotland’s two largest fishing ports, said: “I am delighted that the threat of cuts to days at sea has been lifted and initial quota negotiations have seen largely positive outcomes.
“It seems fair to say that the negotiations this year have seen notable successes for the Scottish industry and that is extremely welcome.
“These annual negotiations make the run up to Christmas a concerning time for everyone involved in Scotland’s fishing industry, so I am sure that all who have a stake in these negotiations will welcome the outcome of these discussions.
“Of course it would be far preferable if this annual ordeal for the fishing industry was brought to an end and the entire system of fisheries management was replaced with the kind of regional system we have long been calling for.
“It is ultimately those who have the greatest stake in creating a profitable, sustainable fishing industry in the waters off our coast who are best placed to make decisions on managing fish stocks.”