Scotland should 'control its own fishing industry'

Control over the fishing industry must be taken back from Europe, according to the Scottish Government.

MSPs have been debating the controversial Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) ahead of crucial talks about the future of the industry in Luxembourg next week.

Eyemouth, like many Scottish fishing ports, is struggling to survive because of cuts to the number of days that boats can put to sea.

There's been a severe drop in local fishing fleet over the last few years.

Scotland's fisheries secretary Richard Lochhead says decision making must be returned to regional level. Mr Lochhead said:

"The next seven days are absolutely crucial to the future of Scotland's fishing industry and common sense must prevail. We must ensure this once-in-a-decade opportunity is seized to reform a policythat we have known for so long to be broken and damaging, and finally replace it with something that is fit for purpose."

The three priorities for Scotland include the return of decision-making to regional level. Mr Lochhead added:

"By giving more control to those most knowledgeable about particular fisheries, we can develop tailored management measures on a fishery by fisheries basis,"

– Richard Lochhead, Scottish Fisheries Secretary

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation, says missing the opportunity to improve the CFP would be a tragedy. Mr Armstrong said :

"In a nutshell, the broad one-size-fits-all approach to fisheries management does not work and is a ludicrous way to manage the intricacies and unique circumstances of individual andmixed regional fisheries."

– Bertie Armstrong, Chief Executive Scottish Fishermen's Fed.