Managing Scotland’s Fisheries

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 14th January 2021.

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Photo of Fergus Ewing Fergus Ewing Scottish National Party

If Mr Chapman is referring to the ability to do quota swaps, that is an ability that the industry has lost as a result of the trade agreement. There is still the possibility that coastal states can agree arrangements at Government level, but that is a poor substitute for the arrangements under which industry makes its own deals on a regular—indeed, day-to-day—basis. My officials tell me that there were around 140 such deals last year. The new system is far more bureaucratic, untried, untested and unfamiliar, and it does not offer the flexibility and opportunity that producer organisations have enjoyed to ensure that fishermen are able to continue to fish in Scotland because they have sufficient quota thereto. That is one of the most problematic provisions of the trade agreement to which the Prime Minister agreed.