Fishermen’s Federation pushes anti-EU case

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) has outlined its opposition to Scotland remaining in the European Union despite the vow by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to “protect Scotland’s place in Europe.”

Scotland voted in favour of remaining in the EU by 62% to 38% — but the UK voted to leave the EU by 51.9% to 48.1%.

All 32 council areas in Scotland returned majorities to remain in the EU.

“The European Union referendum result last week, which took so many in the country by surprise, opened up hope and ambition for Scotland’s fishing communities,” said the SFF in a statement.

“There is now real opportunity to implement sustainable and rationale stewardship of our fisheries.”

Bertie Armstrong, SFF chief executive said: “After many years – in the consistent past words of the current party of Scottish Government of being ‘sold down the river’ with the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy – we at last have the ability to recover proper, sustainable and rational stewardship through our own Exclusive Economic Zone for fisheries, just like Norway, Iceland and the Faroes.

“With the Scottish Parliament emergency debate … aimed at the Scottish Government getting a mandate for arguing against the referendum result and attempting to stay in the EU, it must not be forgotten that the whole of the Scottish fishing community – who sustainably harvest seafood from some of the best fishing grounds in the world – does not agree with this stance in the slightest.

“For Scotland’s economically important fishing industry, we believe the new opportunities presented by the referendum result are overwhelmingly for the better – Scottish Parliamentarians must carefully consider all views as they make their decisions on the way forward.

“With leadership exercised at last from the right place, the ills of the past of overfishing and incoherent regulation could be banished.

“We are witnessing another form of ‘Project Fear’ when instead we should be working on the details of how we, at long last, make the best out of the new leadership opportunities presented.”