SCOTLAND, UK - Up to 30 per cent of this year’s fish quotas affected by the Russian trade sanctions could be banked until next year according to EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki.
Scotland’s Fishing Minister Richard Lochhead had previously written to the Commissioner requesting the impact of the Russia trade sanctions, including an increase in the amount of quota that can be banked, be added to the items for discussion at Monday’s Fish Council in Luxembourg.
Commissioner Damanaki has asked the Council to ‘agree to increase the banking of some of this year’s fishing quota up to 30 per cent.’
The Commissioner has also agreed to meet with Mr Lochhead to discuss a number of other key issues for Scotland’s fishing fleet.
While across the EU the greatest impact of the Russian sanction are on agriculture items, for Scotland it is our pelagic fish sector that has had to adapt the most to minimise the potential impact on their industry.
Speaking ahead of his journey out to Luxembourg Mr Lochhead said: “I am pleased that the impact of the Russian sanction on the fishing industry will be discussed at tomorrow’s Council and I welcome Commissioner Damanaki’s recommendation that up to 30 per cent of some of this year’s quota should be banked.
“Scotland’s processors export up to 20 per cent of the mackerel they process directly to Russia and so are taking a direct hit – but there is also an indirect impact, due to the knock-on product displacement across the whole of Europe. An agreement to bank appropriate fish quotas would help to minimise the impact of the ban. While we may not use all the extra banking having this flexibility would be helpful to the fleet.
“There can be no doubt that Scotland’s pelagic fishing industry is a successful sector, used to adapting to changes in market conditions and with great experience exporting to a wide range of markets and we acted very quickly to put a plan in place to help them adapt to this latest challenge. But the discussions at Council are extremely important to help us develop a Europe-wide picture.
“I am also looking forward to meeting directly with Commissioner Damanaki where I will be discussing both the trade ban and wider issues affecting Scotland’s fishing industry with her directly.”
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