The Fishing Daily Podcast Series 1 Episode 24 – Oliver McBride speaks to the CEO of the Scottish White Fish Association (SWFPA) Mike Park OBE about the Scottish whitefish industry looking forward to 2022

Scottish Whitefish fleet looking towards 2022 - SWFPA Chief Mike Park OBE

by The Fishing Daily Podcast Audio

In this episode of The Fishing Daily Podcast, Oliver McBride speaks to Mike Park OBE from the Scottish White Fish Producers Association.

The December talks between the northeastern Atlantic coastal states are under way with a positive outcome needed for the fishing industry.

So far, the only agreement in place is between the UK, the EU and Norway for stocks in the North Sea. There has been an increase in TACs for whiting of 25% and for haddock of 5% but Mike says that the result has turned out to be a mixed bag for the industry with the only mitigating factor being a no-change in the cod quota, which could have had a major impact as it is a choke species that could prevent boats from catching their full quota of other stocks such has whiting and haddock.

A reduction of 24% in saithe means that vessels targeting this stock will be forced to look at alternatives they can use to fill both the market and the financial loss they will suffer from the cut.

A positive outcome to the December coastal state talks would see Scottish vessels gain access to fish in Norwegian and Faroe Islands EEZs. Last year the UK failed to reach agreement with these two coastal states resulting in members of the SWFPA fleet being locked out and relying heavily on their own grounds, especially around the Shetland Basin.

Fishing pressures have been high on Scottish grounds in 2021. There was also a strong movement of Spanish-owned fishing boats who moved northwards at the start of the year but lately more and more have moved back to their traditional fishing grounds on the southwest of Ireland. More and more static gear, along with the creep of offshore wind power and offshore fish farms is causing a decrease in grounds where traditional Scottish trawlers and seine-netters operated.

Recruitment into the industry remains a problem and bringing in workers from third countries has become frustrating for the UK fleet due to regulations that does not fit the industry.

Listen to the podcast and find out more …

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