Scot­tish in­dus­try leader backs com­mu­nity coastal fleets re­turn­ing to shores

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - NEWS -

A Scot­tish fish­ing leader has said Brexit should be an op­por­tu­nity to re­build fleets in UK coastal com­mu­ni­ties, like his home vil­lage of Stone­haven.

Mike Park, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Scot­tish White Fish Pro­duc­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, said so­ci­ety in gen­eral had voted to leave the EU and needed to get some­thing out of de­par­ture.

His re­marks came at a Commons com­mit­tee meet­ing where fel­low fish­ing chief Jim Por­tus called for de­vo­lu­tion to be rolled back and said a sin­gle UK com­mon fish­eries pol­icy should be the pre­ferred model af­ter Brexit.

The pair were giv­ing ev­i­dence on the fish­eries bill, cur­rently Bri­tain’s be­ing scru­ti­nised par­lia­ment.

It pro­poses con­trol­ling ac­cess to UK wa­ters and con­di­tional li­cences for non-UK fish­ing boats, as well as pre­serv­ing equal ac­cess for UK ves­sels in all UK wa­ters.

Mr Park told MPs on the en­vi­ron­ment, food and ru­ral af­fairs com­mit­tee (Efra): “Over time, we should look to some sort of re­dis­tri­bu­tion round by the coastal com­mu­ni­ties, those that need it, to try and re­build their old fleets.

“I come from a small fish­ing vil­lage called Stone­haven. We used to have a fish­ing fleet where I started my ca­reer a num­ber of years ago that doesn’t ex­ist any more, so you’d like to see some sort of re­sem­blance of that sort of fish­ery.”

Mean­while, Mr Por­tus, chief ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary of the Devon-based South Western Fish Pro­duc­ers Or­gan­i­sa­tion, in­sisted there should be one fish­eries de­part­ment to deal with leg­is­la­tion and the is­su­ing of per­mits.

He added: “Li­cences that are ap­plied to fish­er­men in one area should be valid in all other ar­eas.

“I would roll back de­vo­lu­tion. There should be one fish­eries de­part­ment that deals with the leg­is­la­tion and the is­su­ing of per­mits and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.”

Efra com­mit­tee chair­man Neil Parish asked: “Do we need a com­mon fish­ing pol­icy for the UK?”

Mr Por­tus said the “sim­ple an­swer” was “yes”, adding: “That’s what I would have liked to have seen in the fish­eries bill.”

Mr Park, who de­scribed the “right to roam” as “es­sen­tial for all UK ves­sels in UK wa­ters”, agreed the UK needed a high-level pol­icy cov­er­ing cer­tain ar­eas.

But he stressed the nu­ances of the dif­fer­ent fish­eries must be ac­knowl­edged as well.

He said the UK had sup­ported re­gion­al­i­sa­tion while in the EU, sug­gest­ing that this be “ex­tended within the UK”.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.