Speaking as talks get underway in Brussels over 2020 fishing quotas, Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael has called for greater care to be taken over the impact of quota cuts to local communities. Quotas for North Sea cod were halved last week in the EU-Norway agreement, with a range of other quotas decreasing and increasing.
Mr. Carmichael said:
“Before Parliament was dissolved I asked the Fishing Minister, George Eustice, to confirm that the fishing industries would be properly heard and represented in these talks regardless of the election. Unfortunately the indications from the EU-Norway talks are that this did not happen and our fishing communities are going to feel the consequences.
“Sustainability is important but we must remember that no one has more incentive to ensure sustainable fisheries than family-owned businesses and fishing communities. These groups depend on having reliable stocks now and for future generations.”
“Amongst all the technical discussions and ideological debates, the direct impact on local communities who are reliant on fishing and the surrounding industries is being forgotten. Sustainable fisheries should protect the long-term success of our distinct fishing communities. I hope that the key players in these talks, and our Government, can set aside ideology and reflect on the social impact of quota changes.”