Friday 1 March 2024
 4.7°C   SW Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Marine / Fishermen post shocking video footage of ‘intolerable’ behaviour

FISHERMEN have described the conduct of Spanish gill-netters to the northwest of Shetland as “intolerable” after video footage was posted on social media showing a Spanish gill-netter allegedly attempting to run a rope through the propeller of a local whitefish trawler.

This latest video evidence takes the ongoing skirmishes over access to fishing grounds to a new level and highlights why the local fishing industry is so keen to leave the European Union, and with it the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

The battle between Spanish gill-netters and local trawler men has been ongoing for a long time with most local whitefish boats reporting over the years that they have been at the receiving end of attempts to drive them out of their traditional fishing grounds.

Gill nets are entangling nets set in the sea and held in position by floaters. They can cover huge areas and thus prevent other fishermen to work in those areas.

Spanish fishermen counter claim that Scottish whitefish boats deliberately trawl through the areas where nets have been set.

Last night several fishermen posted video footage showing the German-registered and Spanish owned gill-netter Pesorsa Dos attempting to foul the propeller of one whitefish boat, the Alison Kay.

Reports from last night state that there have been five or six attempts to disable the vessel by putting a rope through her propeller.

The Spanish vessels are fishing legally in Scottish waters as part of the CFP, but this behaviour has been condemned as “intimidating” and “breaking the fundamental rules of the sea”.

Shetland Fishermen’s Association (SFA) executive officer Simon Collins said the incident would be reported to the authorities.

He described the behaviour of the gill netter as “horrendous” and “intolerable”.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

“Imagine, if we as Shetlanders would conduct ourselves in that way in Spanish waters, what would happen to us?

“We report these things to the authorities, we are working actively with Scottish Government on what we can do about it. But we don’t control the rules out there; once we do, we can try and find a solution to it.

“In the longer term we need to remove that problem altogether by severely restricting activities, once we are allowed to do that.”

The SFA is strongly opposing any attempts to extend the transition period for Brexit and it insists that the UK comes out of the EU by 31 December.

Isles MP Alistair Carmichael has meanwhile called for an urgent response from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) following the incident.

In a letter to the agency’s chief executive Brian Johnson he demanded action from the government.

He said: “These allegations are extremely concerning and demand an immediate response from the MCA. This is not the first time that we have had reports of aggressive and dangerous behaviour by Spanish trawlers in these waters. This footage brings home just how dangerous such behaviour can be.

“This is more than an issue of fisheries management, this is about basic maritime safety. The MCA must act accordingly. Fishermen should not expect harassment or unsafe practices from other vessels, no matter the political context.”

See they are at it again!!

Posted by Sigmund Danielsen on Friday, 12 June 2020

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.