Carmichael: Shetland fishermen must be heard

Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, welcomed a new research briefing released by the Shetland Fishermen’s Association, outlining new findings on the state of North Sea cod stocks. Responding on Friday, Mr. Carmichael called for governments in London and Brussels to listen to the case put forward and to take it seriously.

The Chief Executive of the SFA, Simon Collins, has advocated for a calm approach to fisheries management, in response to suggestions of severe cuts to North Sea cod quotas by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.

Mr. Carmichael said:

“Shetland Fishermen have always understood that sustainable fishing practices are necessary if there is to be an industry for future generations.

“I have been hugely encouraged by the increasing collaboration between fishermen and scientists in recent years. Fishermen in the Northern Isles are not ideological about quotas. They have a strong interest in keeping stocks sustainable.”

He continued:

“We know that fishing quotas are often determined by measurements of the “size” of stocks, but size doesn’t always tell the whole picture. There are different realities in the sea. It is essential that fishermen be at the heart of decision-making, working in partnership with scientists and policymakers. That is exactly why reports like these are important in order to inform the discussion.

“This briefing shows the effort and goodwill the SFA and Scottish fishermen are putting into the policy debate. The Government and international bodies like the ICES should listen closely and make meaningful changes to the decision-making process.”

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