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Shetland fishermen facing bad deal

SHETLAND’S fishing fleet looks set for a bad deal at this year’s EU fisheries council quota setting talks after last week’s deal with Norway agreed significant cuts in key white fish species.

Shetland MSP has called on Scottish fishing secretary Richard Lochhead to attend the talks in Brussels and argue for a better deal, especially on monkfish.

Mr Lochhead has already welcomed the outcome of the EU/Norway talks, saying they are good for Scotland.

Pointing to an assessment published by NAFC Fisheries College, Mr Scott said the cuts in cod, haddock and saithe that make up 40 per cent of the Shetland fleet’s landings would have “a significant effect”.

The NAFC report also backs concerns raised by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation about ‘catch quota’ conservation measures being imposed on a mixed fishery.

Mr Scott said: “Some key quotas remain to be agreed at the Fisheries council meeting, the most important one for Shetland being that for monkfish, which makes up a third of the value of the Shetland fleet’s catch, where the European Commission is proposing a 15 per vent cut in the quota.”