Fishing crisis: Comhairle Leader urges re-think

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Cllr Angus Campbell, Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, has written in to Marine Scotland in regard to their Consultation prawn fishing effort on the West coast.

Cllr Campbell has indicated in his response that Marine Scotland’s proposed control measures will have a devastating effect on the local fishing industry and makes the case that Marine Scotland should step back from its potentially harmful proposals. Cllr Campbell has also expressed concern about the timeframe allowed for the consultation, which allowed a period of just two days for responses to be made.

Cllr Campbell said: “I will be seeking an urgent meeting with Cabinet Secretary, Richard Lochhead, in a bid to avert what could be a financial catastrophe for both the local prawn-fishing fleet and the wider economy of the Outer Hebrides. If these proposals are implemented they could lead to significant job-losses in both the fish-catching and onshore-processing sectors across the islands.

“In my view it is simply wrong to impose severe restrictions on vessels that have not altered their fishing pattern to satisfy a Cod Recovery Plan that is fundamentally flawed and unless challenged will destroy traditional coastal fishing communities.

“It is also fundamentally flawed that Marine Scotland should put out a consultation document on the afternoon of Tuesday 24th July and require an answer by noon on Thursday 26th July. These are critical issues for our communities and this approach to consultation is simply unacceptable.”