Wednesday, 27 April 2016 05:25

SWINNEY outlines backing for Scotland's fishing industry

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SUPPORT FOR FOOD AND DRINK AT HEART OF SCOTLAND’S ECONOMIC STRATEGY

 Deputy First Minister John Swinney has set out the SNP’s support for Scotland’s fishing industry if re-elected to government on 5th May.

 On a campaign visit to Keltic Seafare in Dingwall, with Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch constituency candidate Kate Forbes, John Swinney has highlighted the party’s pledges to support Scotland’s fisheries.

 The SNP has pledged to support Scotland’s fisheries by:

  • Doing everything possible to ensure Scottish fishing quota is retained in the hands of active Scottish fishermen, and that quota speculation is ended.
  • Working with the industry to phase in the discard ban.
  • Setting up a new entrants’ scheme for fishermen.
  • Setting a Scottish landings target for all Scottish fishing boats to ensure more fish are landed in Scotland to create jobs and support local businesses in our fishing communities.
  • Continuing to argue for repatriation of the Seafish Levy to ensure that levy funds paid by the Scottish industry are used to promote Scottish seafood.
  • Continuing to press for Scotland to take the lead in fisheries negotiations where Scotland has the predominant interest, and pushing for further decentralisation of the Common Fisheries Policy.
  • Arguing for Scotland to chair the EU Fisheries Council in the second half of 2017 when the UK holds the EU Presidency.
  • Working to ensure a healthy and productive inshore fisheries sector by implementing our Scottish Inshore Fisheries Strategy. We will also update inshore fisheries legislation through an Inshore Fisheries Bill to support sound fisheries management.

 Commenting, Mr Swinney said:

 “Scotland’s food and drink industry is a hugely important part of our economy – and we want to continue to ensure that our fisheries continue to thrive as part of that.

 “In government we have supported the viability and profitability of Scotland’s fisheries, sustained existing markets and developed new markets by allocating £77 million of support to over 1,200 projects.

 “If re-elected we will set a Scottish landings target for all Scottish fishing boats, establish a new entrants’ scheme for fishermen and do everything possible to ensure that the Scottish fishing quota is retained in the hands of active Scottish fishermen.”

 Kate Forbes added:

 “For too long Scotland’s fishing communities have been poorly served by a UK Government who refuse to allow Scotland’s voice to be heard in Europe.

 “The SNP will strongly argue that Scotland should be able to take the lead in fisheries negotiations where Scotland has the predominant interest – and we will continue to argue for the repatriation of the Seafish Levy, ensuring that funds paid by the Scottish industry are used to promote Scottish seafood.

 "Scotland’s fisheries are vital employers and exporters. West and east communities depend on a thriving fishing industry, particularly in fishing towns like Mallaig, Kyle and kyleakin.  These communities deserve to have a government that will continue to stand up for them.”

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