The Sea Fish Industry Authority, known as Seafish, has been searched in a long-running investigation into the multi-million pound trade in “black fish”. Police and the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency informed that the raids have been done to stop the breaching of EU fishing quotas by Scots skippers between 2001 and 2006. The authority has imposed strict limits on catching fish such as mackerel and cod to protect dwindling stocks.
And this has increased the illegal fishing in the area. Last year Tom Nicholson- nicknamed the Cod father was exposed for netting more than £1million of black fish with his TN Trawlers fleet, based in Annan, Dumfriesshire. As Seafish is funded on a levy based upon what is caught by every single boat in the UK, they hold records of what has gone through the wholesalers.
The raid was also done on two of Scotland’s biggest fish processing plants in September 2005. Accountants examined paperwork at Fresh Catch in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, and Shetland Catch in Lerwick. Police divers also searched Peterhead harbour. It was in 2006 when Seafish launched its Responsible Fishing scheme, which receives financial backing from the EU. Under this scheme the organization allows boat owners to provide assurance down the supply chain that they fish in a responsible manner.
The Crown Office informed that the Office and procurator fiscal service remain in liaison with the police and the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency in this ongoing investigation. Seafish boss Howeson told that the cooperation is always there and the organization is continuing with business as usual.