Responding to news that the Spanish gillnet trawler Pesorsa Dos is again fishing to the west of Shetland, Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael said:
“This should come as no surprise to anyone. Last year they were caught on film deliberately trying to foul the propellor of the Shetland white fish trawler Alison Kay. Despite that neither Scottish nor UK enforcement authorities have even tried to prosecute them. Of course they will carry on fishing in these waters in these circumstances. Why wouldn’t they?
“Gill net trawling is an unsustainable practice and needs to be stopped. Until it is, we need to protect our fleet against the pirates that carry it out.”
Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart commented:
“Shetland people are tired of hearing the same excuses for inaction. Our fishermen have had their lives put at risk by these people who are left to plunder traditional Shetland grounds using a practice that is environmentally unsustainable and which results in massive amounts of plastic waste being left in the sea. In the past fisheries ministers have blamed this on the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy. That no longer works as an excuse so why is this still happening?”
The parliamentarians are jointly raising their concerns with fisheries ministers in Edinburgh and Whitehall.