‘The deal is significantly worse than what was pushed for, and promised to us, by the Government. It was agreed on Christmas Eve, denying us the opportunity to examine the detail and highlight the obvious problems with it,’ said Shetland Fishermen’s Association chairman James Anderson, commenting that while the deal worked out between the EU and the UK is a disappointment, the fishermen in the isles aim to work hard to secure short- and long-term improvements.
‘By signing up to a deal where increases in quota shares for some stocks fall short of what we would normally have obtained through quota swapping mechanisms, the Government has taken away the shine from the headline gains. But it’s onward and upward now and we will work hard to hold the Prime Minister to account on what he says the deal will deliver, especially after the initial five-and-a-half year transition,’ he said.
‘The last few years have been incredibly focused on Brexit for us and we will continue now to make sure we get everything we can out of this deal.’
SFA executive officer Simon Collins said he looked forward to a constructive dialogue with Marine Scotland on an improved management regime for local waters – particularly on what he described as the ‘occupation of traditional fishing grounds by gill netters and a new catching policy that will replace an unworkable discard ban.’
Alison Kay skipper James Anderson, a former chairman for a short period in the past, recently replaced Leslie Tait as the Shetland Fishermen’s Association’s chairman.
Leslie Tait will maintain his involvement with the SFA, having been appointed Honorary President. He is set to stand down from his role as Vice President of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation in August.