Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead has commented on provisional statistics published today showing a 12 per cent rise in the value of fish landed by Scottish vessels in 2009.
Mr Lochhead said:
“The provisional landing figures underline the importance of fishing to Scotland’s rural economy and the food sector. The Scottish fleet brought in more than £440 million in 2009, which illustrates the industry and the Scottish Government’s determination to retain a viable industry even while working within a broken Common Fisheries Policy.
“And while a 12 per cent rise is laudable, we should not overlook that the price for many of the main species – cod, haddock and nephrops for example – dropped in 2009 compared to the previous year and the cost of fuel increased. This demonstrates that, as important as this industry is to Scotland, it remains vulnerable to market forces and the health of the marine environment, let alone the policy of the day.
“We remain committed to providing a range of support intended to allow fishermen to see out the hard times. We are working to develop fleet management policies that are appropriate and flexible enough to keep the fleet buoyant despite this difficult economic environment. And we continue to ensure that Scotland’s position is represented at the highest levels possible when European fishing policy is under discussion.”