SCOTTISH DISCARD BAN WARNING
Scottish discard ban warning. The introduction of the landing obligation (discard ban) has the potential to cause series problems to the Scottish fleet, according to the chairman of the Scottish White Fish Producers Association.
Davie Milne, in a new year message to members on Facebook, says lower quotas combined with the potential of ‘choke’ species closing fisheries down would cause immense harm to the industry.
“With that in mind we need to be fully aware of the pressures the coming year will bring. Reductions in quotas for key commercial stocks aligned to full implementation of the landing Obligation will, I believe, pose the biggest challenge we have seen for a number of years.
“The irrationality of the Landing Obligation is not lost on me. Landing all catches of regulated species and the early choking of fisheries and underutilized opportunities, that such a situation may deliver, runs contrary to any sense of fairness or fair play.”
He added: “We need to find a way to operate within the confines of the Landing Obligation in order to protect the stocks from increased mortality and give confidence to the market place and the consumer.
He went on: “Enthusiasm within the industry continues to shine bright. The ongoing high level of investment in both new and second-hand vessels is good to see, yet we have to be aware of the collective impact of improved efficiency. We need to be aware of this surge in technical creep and the potential long-term impact it may have on the stocks if we choose to ignore it.
“Whereas I believe it is important to be aware of our own capabilities we need also have clear sight of the activities of non-UK registered vessels. I share the concerns of many of you in relation to the level of non-UK activity currently taking place to the west of Scotland and in the waters around the Orkney and Shetland Islands, especially when a number of those vessels continue to ignore our unilateral measures to protect spawning cod. We will continue to highlight our concerns to the relevant authorities.”
He concluded: “Brexit remains a key focus for your association and with others we will continue to put pressure on our politicians so that very soon we will be a coastal state entering into annual fisheries negotiations with all the leverage we require to strike a better deal for our fishermen.”