An Aberdeenshire Councillor is asking for a re-think on quota arrangements for under 10m and small coastal fisheries.
This follows the conclusion of the 2012 EU fisheries negotiations that sees mixed results for both the industry and environmental NGO concerns.
However, increases in quota, presents the opportunity for a small shift between sectors. The Aberdeenshire Councillor said: “The total quota changes that would make a massive difference to the small vessel coastal fishery sector without any significant dis-benefit to the larger fleet”
Councillor Johnston explained that the small vessel sector “was not as economically significant in total but remains important in smaller communities, islands and also important culturally and emotionally for Scotland’s fishing villages.”
“The opportunity to re-balance the quota between sectors is really only possible when the quota is increased. The effect will not be significant on large commercial fishers. It is something that can be done by the UK and Scottish Governments as it does not alter total fishing effort and is generally more sustainable”
The Aberdeenshire Councillor, acknowledged the huge challenges facing the fishing sector. Reduced days at sea for the over 10m vessels, and the lack of real benefits arising from all the good work many vessels have put into conservation measures, remain the main issues. The call for the change was “not to take away from the larger problems, but to resolve this specific issue as it is something within the powers of this government unlike the wider larger issues”
Councillor Paul Johnston has asked Aberdeenshire Council to make the representation to the Minister.