Western Isles Fishermen’s Association welcomed the BREXIT vote to leave the EU, at their recent Annual General Meeting held in Benbecula. The feel that the opportunity to control UK waters out to 200 miles, coupled with enhanced catching opportunities for the inshore fleet operating inside the 12 mile limit will bring significant economic opportunities to the UK fleet and to coastal communities like the Outer Hebrides.
Since joining the EU the Western Isles fleet has declined by 25% in both number of vessels and fishermen employed in the industry.
But it was noted that the UK Government should guarantee the fishing industry will continue to have the same levels of funding that EMFF funding would provide until 2020.
Politicians from all regions of the UK, should unite and engage in meaningful negotiations to ensure that fishermen continue to have unrestricted access to European
Markets and that all EU citizens currently employed in all sectors of the fishing industry will be permitted to remain following UK withdrawal from the EU.