Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has welcomed findings presented today by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF), which show broad support for the fishing sector in Scotland. Mr Carmichael said that the polling was a “vote of confidence” in the fishing industry, with 19 in 20 Scots saying that fishing is vital for coastal communities, and added that the findings should be a warning against SNP-Green attempts to curtail the industry.
A further 94.2% believe the industry is important to Scotland's economy, while 90.4% think Scottish fish should support national food security and 89.0% believe the government should do more to support fishing. The figures also showed that 65% of respondents aged 16-24 have an overall positive opinion on the Scottish fishing sector, compared to 60% between 45-54.
Mr Carmichael said:
“These findings by the SFF are a vote of confidence in Scottish fishing. It is enormously encouraging to see a broad recognition across the public of the central role fishing plays in our coastal communities in Scotland.
“I am particularly pleased to see such strong support for fishing amongst young people. Both our governments have done their level best for years now – whether intentionally or otherwise – to discourage young people from getting involved in the industry. If we are going to make the most of our fishing potential in the years to come then attracting more young people locally has to be part of that plan.”
“The figures should also be a warning to the SNP-Green government about their dormant HPMA proposals. It is in all our interests to see sustainable fisheries in Scotland but you cannot impose a plan from on high. Ministers must work collaboratively with fishermen to make policy rather than sticking with their usual ideological hostility.”