Scottish Environment Minister, Máiri McAllen has dismissed fishing industry concerns over the advancement of HPMAs and the spatial squeeze Fishing Forward UK has called on the new First Minister, Humza Yousaf to stop the agenda against the fisheries sector

Fishing Forward UK has called on the new First Minister, Humza Yousaf to stop the agenda against the fisheries sector

Fishing Forward UK (FFUK) has accused the Scottish government under the leadership of Nicola Sturgeon of damaging the nation’s fishing industry and coastal communities, driven by their coalition partners, the Green Party

In an open letter entitles, “To ALL concerned and in any way interested in the fishing industry and remote coastal communities’ survival” to the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC), FFUK Chairman, Alastair Inkster says that under the new administration of First Minister, Humza Yousaf, “the fishing industry would like to think that a new system of working and supporting the fishing industry would manifest itself into hope for a better future for our fishermen and remote fishing communities.”

FFUK claims that the past regime, with the assistance of the Scottish Greens of colluding to disrupt the sector. The Chairman says in the letter:

“The past regime, with the assistance of Green Party, has largely destroyed the core of the fishing industry which it was maybe designed to do and allowed unmonitored fish landings daily by non-U.K. owned vessels complicit in the destruction of fish stocks and destroying scientific data. However, the remainder of the industry is fighting back and we sincerely hope that a new genuine support system for the industry can come into force.”

FFUK accuse the Scottish government of ignoring the real problem of third country fishing vessels in Scotland’s water and hit out at the plans for Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs).

“We hear a lot about HPMAs supposedly to protect fish stocks but the unmonitored landings by non-U.K. owned fleets continues and tonnes of illegal stolen fish are leaving our waters daily, so this is a pointless exercise to put local fishermen out of work and destroy coastal communities.”

FFUK also hit out at the onslaught of offshore wind farms that is planned for Scotland’s waters. The Chairman writes:

“The other big concern is the incessant installation of seaborne windmills causing serious destruction to the marine habitat and fish spawn. This cannot continue and anyone found signing off this development will have to answer to the fishing industry in court.”

The FFUK have encouraged the new First Minister and his party to put fishing and fishing communities first, saying:

“If the shambolic management and destruction of the fishing industry and remote communities by governments and the Green Party north and south of the border continues there are two programs here which the industry is planning you may want to consider:

Firstly- There will be a documentary made to highlight the failings of recent administrations from Westminster to Holyrood Wales and Northern Ireland and producers will be interviewing key people from all areas from the Channel Islands to Shetland. We have the names of key people and they will be asked for their explanation of how they are assisting the destruction an infinite food resource of this nation and destroying remote communities.

Second – If the current management system doesn’t change from systematic destruction to supporting the fishing industry it will take the MMO and Marine Scotland to Court for dereliction of duty and Violating Fishermen’s Rights. This will also include any service company found to be aiding this destruction. Including key individuals allowing this to happen. We have a list of them all.”

The letter concludes with the Chairman of the FFUK calling for a change of direction from the Scottish Government saying:

“We hope that common sense will prevail and our remote communities and our infinite food resource can be saved and live in peace.”

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