Jamie McGrigor MSP has responded to today’s statement from the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead - that the Scottish Government is considering urgent action to address the exceptionally high level of prawn fishing activities in the west of Scotland,
McGrigor, Scottish Conservative Fisheries Spokesman, had raised the matter with the Scottish Government some weeks ago, after it was raised with him by the Western Isles Fishermen’s Association during his recent visit; and by other fishing constituents on the west coast.
He says: “While I appreciate Richard Lochhead’s message that fishermen must be able to catch their quotas, the fact is that the Scottish Government was informed some time ago that North Sea boats were fishing in traditional west coast fishing grounds, namely the WC TR2 fishing grounds.
‘So why did they not foresee this problem?
‘Are they going to now recompense the WC TR2 fleet for the losses and pain that they may have to face?
‘ The small west coast prawn boats are limited in scope and must be able to fish their traditional prawn grounds in order to maintain their livelihoods.
‘The Scottish Government, through its agencies must allow west coast fishermen the means to make a living and they should be aware of what is going on in Scottish waters so that they can plan for shortfalls.’