After a general approach to sharing funding for fishing and aquaculture sectors was agreed by EU Fishing Ministers earlier this week, Paul Wheelhouse says its crucial that Scotland now nets itself a fair deal.
The approach, discussed in Brussels on Monday, will underpin the ambitious reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) - in particular dealing with the challenges of discards, maximum sustainable yield and providing investment in fragile coastal communities - and will now be negotiated between the EU Presidency, the EU Commission and the EU Parliament.
And Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Scotland’s Environment and Climate Change Minister, said thoughts must now turn firmly to getting Scotland a sizeable slice of the UK pie.
He commented: “Monday’s agreement was an important first step towards securing a fair level of funding for Scotland’s fishing and aquaculture sectors through the new European Maritime Fisheries Fund
“We will now turn our focus to negotiating with the UK Government to try and secure an increased settlement in terms of allocation from the UK pot.
“With well over half of the UK’s sea fisheries and almost 90 per cent of aquaculture sales by volume coming from Scotland, a settlement of 40 per cent – which is what we have currently - is unacceptable and should not happen again.
“Scotland’s hard working fishermen and fish-farmers deserve a better deal than that.
“They deserve a deal that is fair and reflects the fact Scotland has the lion’s share within the UK of both of these very valuable sectors.”