Fishermen look to future

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The UK’s two fishermen’s organisations met in Edinburgh last week to agree a way forward to get the best possible deal for the industry post Brexit.

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation and the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations say that fishermen across the UK have welcomed Brexit as providing a historic opportunity to secure significant economic benefit to coastal communities once the UK regains control of its 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

At the meeting between the two federations, they agreed to seek fairer shares of catching opportunity for UK vessels, full control over access to the UK EEZ by fishing fleets, creation of a fit-for-purpose management and regulation system based on sustainable harvesting and sound science; and the establishment of mutually beneficial trading relationships with the EU and other countries.

The federations also agreed there must be no roll-over of the current common fisheries policy.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the SFF said: “Brexit has monumental significance for the nation’s fishing industry and our coastal communities in terms of providing the opportunity for a significant increase in economic activity.

“It is vital that fishermen across the UK speak with a united voice to ensure that the UK and devolved governments fight for the interests of these communities in the forthcoming negotiations.

“The UK fishing industry is speaking with one voice – it is a sea of opportunity that must not be traded away.”