Monday 4 March 2024
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Marine / Local concern for ling quota

THE ISLANDS’ fishing industry has expressed concern after some of the local fleet’s entitlement to catch ling was traded away to Norway.

It comes as the local response to the UK/Norway quota exchange negotiations, concluded at the end of last year, has generally been positive.

Shetland Fishermen’s Association executive officer Daniel Lawson said stocks were showing positive sign across the North Sea.

“Negotiating an as independent coastal state gives the UK the ability to negotiate these fisheries agreements on its own terms, and fishing crews are encouraged that both UK and Scottish Government negotiators have worked hard in the national interest,” he said.

However, there is some worry within the Shetland whitefish fleet with regards to ling, a valuable catch in local waters and which has been traded away to Norway in exchange for other species.

Lawson said that in addition quota for ling has been cut for several years due to the lack of data about the fishery.

“These precautionary quota cuts for so called ‘data-deficient’ fish stocks are of great concern, and we welcome the Scottish Government’s recent commitment to tackling this issue,” he said.

“Local fishing crews are also participating in a ling project being run by the University of the Highlands and Islands, aiming to evidence the abundances of ling around Shetland and help secure the long-term sustainability of the stock.”

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