View Full Version : McArthur condemns threat to future of Orkney Fish Producers Organisation

Davie Tait
10th August 2013, 15:34
SNP using bully boy tactics again , all because Orkney and Shetland want NOTHING to do with the separatists and would rather take their fishing grounds and oil/gas and remain in the UK than allow herr Salmond any say


Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has condemned Scottish Government plans to withdraw recognition from the Orkney’s Fish Producers Organisation and called on rural affairs secretary, Richard Lochhead, to think again.

At a meeting with the head of the Orkney PO, Alan Coghill, earlier this week, Mr McArthur was briefed on the plans, which threaten the demise of local control over the fish quota management.

Mr McArthur said: “Last month, the First Minister insisted he was a supporter of our island communities taken more control over the decisions affecting them. Now, with the ink scarcely dry on his self-styled Lerwick Declaration, comes confirmation that his officials are busy trying to remove what local control currently exists over fish quota management in Orkney.

“While the number of vessels in the local whitefish fleet have reduced over recent years, the Orkney PO still provides an important service to its members. It also holds and manages the community quotas on behalf of Orkney Islands Council and their counterparts in the Western Isles. This has enabled local fishermen in these communities who don’t have quota themselves to access valuable fishing opportunities.

In response, a Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “EU law determines the criteria for Producer Organisation status, which have not been met by the Orkney Fish Producers Organisation.

“Marine Scotland has an obligation to ensure that Producer Organisations comply with the EU criteria, and has been working closely with the Orkney Fish Producers Organisation for the past two years to resolve this situation.

“We are keen to ensure that fishermen on the islands continue to access good quality fishing opportunities as well as services and support, and we welcome the fact that the Orkney Fishermen’s Association is very active in representing local fishermen’s views.”