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Big gains for fishing industry

Published: 16 Dec 2015 02:35

Fisheries Secretary hails increase in 16 key stocks.

The fish quota package agreed in Brussels includes big gains for the Scottish industry worth around £25 million to the whitefish fleet, Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said today.

Mr Lochhead said the overall package includes increased fish quota in 16 out of 23 key Scottish stocks, including cod and haddock. Worth around £25 million to the whitefish fleet, the deal comes on top of increasing fish prices and lower costs - pointing to a profitable year for the industry.

Mr Lochhead said:

"The annual negotiations have secured crucial increases in fish quota for the vast majority of key species including cod and haddock. This is worth around £25 million to the whitefish sector and when combined with increasing prices and lower costs should lead to a good year for Scottish fishing.

"Crucially this will help manage the start of the discard ban - which stops fish being thrown back into the sea dead - for haddock next year.

"However with a largely positive deal for the Scottish fleet it is disappointing that we had to endure a late and unexpected deal with Norway on Blue Whiting against scientific advice, with a lack of consultation and flawed process.

"While this is frustrating, we must still recognise the welcome increases in quotas which come at a particularly encouraging time for Scotland's whitefish fishermen. Quayside prices for important Scottish products, including cod, haddock and whiting, have been very positive in recent months.

"This year has witnessed in particular strong demand for quality Scottish haddock, with the price per tonne sometimes exceeding £1,700, compared to an average price per tonne between 2010 and 2014 of just under £1,200. The triple boost for the industry of increased quota, increasing fish prices and lower costs is a good reward for their conservation efforts and the sacrifices they have made."