Sunday 14 April 2024
 7°C   WNW Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Marine / Fishing quota increases should be ‘welcomed by everyone’, industry says

Photo: Shetland News

THERE is positive news for the local fishing industry after a number of quota increases were confirmed for 2024.

Commercially important fish stocks such as whiting (+124 per cent), haddock (+74 per cent), herring (+29 per cent), saithe (+25 per cent) and cod (+15 per cent) are all increasing.

Shetland Fishermen’s Association (SFA) chair and Alison Kay skipper James Anderson said it was a statement of confidence in the condition of Scotland’s seas.

“These 2024 quota increases are very much welcomed by Shetland’s family-owned fishing fleet, and should be welcomed by everyone – not just for the benefits that fishing brings to our islands, but for what it tells us about the state of our seas: the reality is that fish stocks are thriving,” he said.

“These quota increases – based on scientific stock assessments – run contrary to the narrative of decline and despair that is often voiced by anti-fishing campaigners for their own political purposes.” 

SFA executive officer Daniel Lawson added: “The few stocks that we do see quota cuts for next year – such as ling, lemon sole and hake – are all classed as ‘data deficient’ by scientists, and so cannot be properly assessed.

“This traps them in a cycle of precautionary quota cuts that do not necessarily reflect the true state of the stock. Mairi Gougeon – the Scottish Rural Affairs Secretary – recently made a welcome commitment to tackling this data deficient status.

“Shetland’s fishermen will do all that they can to assist in this vital work, and have already embarked on a study – in partnership with the University of the Highlands and Islands – to better assess ling stocks. 

“The Scottish Government negotiators have worked hard in our national interest. We will continue to argue that the true economic and social potential of these fish stocks can only be reached if fishing crews are allowed to continue catching them efficiently and without undue obstruction. 

Become a supporter of Shetland News

 

“All in all, these quota increases show the sustainable nature of our highly regulated fishing fleet, and fishermen look forward to continuing collaborative work with government to ensure that this endures for the future.”

The increased quotas for 2024 build on a general trend of growth in fish stocks around Shetland, with principal whitefish populations in the North Sea having more than doubled since the year 2000, the association said.

Scottish Fishermen’s Federation chief executive Elspeth Macdonald said: “We have had our differences with the Scottish Government this year in relation to the now abandoned HPMA policy, but we have to pay credit to the excellent work of Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Mairi Gougeon and her team at the Marine Directorate who along with colleagues in the UK Government have secured a good deal for our fishermen for 2024.”

Cabinet secretary for rural affairs, land reform and islands Mairi Gougeon said: “Scotland’s approaches to the negotiations were informed by the best available evidence, taking into account scientific advice, socioeconomic factors, and the dynamics of fisheries.

“As always, close engagement with stakeholders across all sectors has been key to the success of these negotiations, and I would like to thank those who worked so constructively with us throughout the process.”

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.