See this opening quote from Fishing News on 13th February 2017.
‘The Scottish fisheries minister is to take steps to require Scottish pelagic vessels to land more of their catch in Scotland rather than abroad. He has told the Scots pelagic catching and processing sector that Marine Scotland will not allocate 12% of the 2017 mackerel quota [to non-Scottish ports], pending an analysis of how much mackerel is being landed into Scotland and how much abroad.’
I have a feeling ‘pelagic’ might need defining:
‘Most of the world’s large fish populations are pelagic. They include the highly migratory species of tuna, herring and mackerel and smaller species such sardines and anchovy. Pelagic fish often occupy the open waters between the coast and the edge of the continental shelf in depths of 20-400 metres. These areas are highly productive and supply nutrients for the growth of plankton which forms the food for the smaller pelagic species.’
Pelagic fishing is a major part of Scotland’s fishing industry and accounts for much of the income. Essentially, the Minister, Fergus Ewing, is concerned that too much of the catch is currently being landed overseas with a consequent loss of income for the other Scottish businesses that depend on it. He wants to make sure that the economic benefits of fishing are shared more widely to ‘contribute to more inclusive economic growth’.
The minister is quoted in Fishing Times as saying:
‘I am concerned that this level of landings overseas involves significant loss of opportunity for onshore economic activity in Scotland, with potential for reduced employment and economic activity.’
There is currently a voluntary scheme but this has not been successful and the Minister will consult with the sector with a view to: ‘to incorporate a landings target, or potentially to take other steps to directly support fishing communities in Scotland’.
Again, an SNP minister standing up for Scotland’s interests.