Peacock Gives Assurance to Fishermen Representatives

Peter Peacock, Highlands and Islands Regional Labour MSP, has met Duncan MacInnes of the Western Isles Fishermanís Association during a visit to Stornoway and in the week the Parliament Committee of which he is a member starts to take evidence on this years fishing negotiations.

Peter Peacock said, "This was an invaluable meeting and discussion.

"The Western Isles fishermen are renowned for their concern and care of the local waters and for their commitment to a sustainable fishery.

"With the annual fisheries negotiations coming to their peak in the run up to Christmas, this is a crucial time of the year for fishermen with key quota levels at stake.

"The parliament this year will be paying particular and close attention to the negotiating stance of the new minority nationalist government because of their close connections to the north east fishermen.

"It is vital that other fishing interests, not just those of the north east of Scotland are fully taken into account.

"I will be making a point of pressing the fisheries Minister to ensure the interests of the islands fishermen are to the fore in the coming discussions and to get on with approving the inshore fisheries group for the islands he delayed after the election.

"Sadly, the fisheries Minister at the moment seems more interested in posturing over constitutional arguments about him getting a seat at the negotiating table, rather than spending time persuading the UK government of the arguments for the quotas the whole Scottish fleet need, and getting the powerful voice of the UK government behind Scotlandís case.

"Because of the behaviour of the minority government over recent weeks in seeming to prefer picking fights with Westminster, rather than making and winning their arguments, they are a government without any influence at Westminster and that can only be bad for Scotland.

"I have assured Duncan MacInnes that I will be happy to speak to the Westminster government negotiators to ensure they are aware of the needs of the Islands fishing community if it appears the Scottish minority government Ministers are failing in this.

"Because of the very poor relations between the new minority government and UK Ministers I am naturally concerned for the outcome of the negotiations.

"I have assured Duncan MacInnes of my support to get their message across to the key negotiators any way I can and also to keep raising the many other issues where the island fishermen need support."

 

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