“Challenging outcome for the Scottish industry”
The traditional end-of-year European Union fishery negotiations have concluded with agreement on a range of quotas and management measures.
But the talks – potentially Scotland’s last as a member of the EU – took place against difficult scientific advice. Combined with other recent agreements between the EU, Faroe and Norway, which were ratified in Brussels, there are a number of challenging outcomes for the Scottish fleet.
Key points of the agreement include:
• total allowable catch (TAC) for West of Scotland cod reduced by 26%, in line with the scientific advice, but without the arbitrary additional 20% cut originally proposed
• ratification of the 50% decrease in North Sea cod agreed between the EU and Norway last week
• a 5% increase in TAC for North Sea ling
• a 5% increase on last year’s TAC levels for North Sea skate and rays
• relaxation of some proposed control and management measures
Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing, who has been representing Scotland’s interests in Brussels, said:
“With Brexit about to happen it has been clear the EU is already prioritising other members over the state about to walk away. That is perhaps unsurprising, but coupled with the challenging scientific advice, it has made this a difficult two-days.