SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson, has welcomed the Scottish Government’s securing a lift the ban imposed by the UK Government on overseas trading of skates and rays quotas.
Mr Stevenson asked the Scottish Government what discussions it had with the UK Government regarding the lifting of the ban on overseas trading of skates and rays quotas.
The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy & Connectivity, Fergus Ewing, stated that he had written to and held a number of meetings with Ministers from the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in June. The Scottish Government insisted that the Scottish fleet be able to access the full amount of monkfish quota available internationally and rejected UK suggestions that the ban continue over summer.
Relaxing of the ban has allowed Scottish Fishermen’s Organisation vessels the opportunity to land the additional monkfish quota, with a value of up to £600,000. The additional supply will also be welcomed by fish processors.
Mr Stevenson said: “The decision of the UK Government to have a ban in place is another example of how the UK Government is out of touch with Scottish fishing. This problem was unnecessary and threatened to cost Scottish fisherman and processors an important source of revenue. Had the Scottish Government not intervened, the issue could have gone on for months.
“Once again, the Scottish Government has shown its commitment to the fishing industry throughout Scotland. Through superior knowledge and persistence the Cabinet Secretary, Fergus Ewing, has secured a positive resolution.
“I welcome the decision to relax the ban and also the effort made by the Scottish Government to correct this issue. It is a boost for Scottish fisherman and I know they will appreciate that action was taken to ensure common sense prevailed.”