SCOTTISH fisheries secretary Richard Lochhead has accused the European Commission of “navel gazing” after trade sanctions against Faroe and Iceland have been put off until autumn.
Fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki told Tuesday’s Brussels meeting of the EC’s AgriFish council that proposals for trade sanctions against the two island nations would be brought forward in October.
Scotland wants sanctions imposed earlier in response to Iceland and Faroe’s unilateral decision to vastly increase their mackerel quota.
“The EU is not slow in taking action against European fishermen who break regulations, but is in danger of failing to protect its own fishermen against the bullying and irresponsible behaviour of Iceland and the Faroes,” Mr Lochhead said.
Mr Lochhead said he has won support from UK fisheries minister Richard Benyon for a three point plan to tackle the dispute, including an international ministerial summit in a neutral country, bringing a case to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Seas and early trade sanctions.
WORK on preparing the ground for the £500 million gas plant being built by Total begins next month.
Lead contractor Petrofac has brought in Scottish civil engineers Morrison Construction to build access roads, plant, foundations, underground drainage structures, buildings, and hard landscaping.
The £50 million contract is due to be completed by October 2013. Gas is expected to flow from the Laggan-Tormore fields west of Shetland into the new plant and on to the Scottish mainland the following year.
THE SCOTTISH government is creating two new bodies to help the country’s seafood industry work more collectively.
The Fisheries Management and Conservation Group will cover all aspects of inshore and offshore fisheries, repacing the Conservation Credits Steering Group.
The Scottish Seafood Partnership will replace the Scottish Fisheries Council, and will be made up of key players from processors, retailers and producer organisations.
Fisheries secretary Richard Lochhead said: “We need to radically overhaul how and where many of the decisions are taken that impact on our fishing industry.”
HOLYROOD opened a new £2.5 million boiler scrappage scheme on Tuesday to give more than 6,000 households throughout Scotland £400 towards the cost of a new boiler.
The government says upgrading to a new boiler could save every household around £190 on their fuel bills.
Households can apply over the phone 0800 512 012 or online through Home Energy Scotland at www.homeenergyscotland.org.uk.
The scheme, which has already been through two rounds, operates on a first come first serve basis.
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