Secretary of State in key issues talk during visit

Skipper Alec Buchan and Environment Secretary Liz Truss on board the 'Lunar Pow' at Peterhead's harbour.

Skipper Alec Buchan and Environment Secretary Liz Truss on board the 'Lunar Pow' at Peterhead's harbour.

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Representatives from the Scottish fishing industry briefed Elizabeth Truss MP on a number of key issues facing the fisheries sector during her visit to the North-east last Friday.

The MP, the new Secretary of State for environment, food and rural affairs, visited Peterhead on Friday, August 15, where she met representatives from the fishing industry.

The Minister made an early morning tour of the fishmarket followed by a visit to the pelagic fishing vessel ‘Lunar Bow’ to discuss with the skipper and crew a range of current industry issues and concerns, including the forthcoming discards ban.

Accompanying her during the trip was Ross Dougal, vice-president of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation. He said: “We are delighted that the Secretary of State took the time for this important fact finding visit to Peterhead.

“She listened carefully to a wide range of industry concerns – in particular the impact the forthcoming discards ban will have on our whitefish, prawn and pelagic fishermen, and the need for there to be a sensible and practicable management regime that shows great flexibility and doesn’t threaten the future viability of our fishing fleets.

“She also heard of our real fears over the impact of Russian retaliatory sanctions on mackerel fishermen and processors, and the importance of support measures to help the sector through this difficult period. We welcome that the Secretary of State recognised these concerns, and that the UK Government is working with the Scottish Government towards implementing measures to alleviate their impact.”