Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Call for Fishing to be a Priority when Debating Scotland's Future

North East MSP Christian Allard is calling on people from every generation of the fishing industry to get involved and make sure that fishing is a priority in the independence debate. Mr Allard highlighted the important role that fishing has, not only in coastal communities, but also for the whole of Scotland and asked everyone working in and around the industry to get involved in the debate.

The SNP MSP said that fishermen, onshore processors, seafood haulage and other related suppliers and retailers make up a diverse and wealthy industry that has a wider impact felt well beyond our coastal communities. He also pointed out that new generations coming into the industry have a fantastic opportunity to help the industry flourish thanks to important work being done by the fishing industry and the Scottish Government today.

Mr Allard’s comments come after the European Commission announced that Scottish inshore fishing vessels will no longer be subject to European time at sea limits following a request by the Scottish Government.

The French born MSP said we need every part of the fishing industry – catching, processing, suppliers and retailers – to work together to take advantage of the opportunity for growth in the Scottish fishing sector. Through working together the Scottish fishing industry and the Scottish Government have achieved success in supporting Scottish fishermen, we can build upon this after a YES vote in September, he added.

Mr Allard said:

“Scottish fishing is vital to coastal communities and Scotland as a whole. Fishermen, processors, seafood haulage and related suppliers make a fantastic contribution to the economy throughout the country.

“The good news is, there are plenty more fish in the sea – literally. With the discard ban being enforced and more time at sea for Scottish vessels there is a clear opportunity for future generations to benefit from a flourishing fishing industry in the years to come.

“That is why it is so important that people in the fishing industry - from every generation and from every part of the industry – make their voice heard in the independence debate.

“I invite people within the industry who share my vision for Scottish fishing after a Yes vote to join me and to ensure that fishing will always be a priority when debating Scotland’s future.”
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