Tag Archives: Bertie Armstrong

Brexit: A ‘sea of opportunity’ for Scotland’s fishing fleet, claims industry leader

Brexit offers a “sea of opportunity” which gives Scotland and the wider UK a chance to become world leaders in the harvesting of sustainable seafood, the head of Scotland’s fishing industry has claimed. However, as Brexit negotiations continue at the highest level of both the British and Scottish governments, Bertie Armstrong, Chief Executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, has warned that the possibility of remaining in the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, or even granting similar access to European trawlers, would be a complete betrayal of Scotland’s seaside communities. He has also fired a warning shot across the bows of the EU by stating that any actions that prevent Scottish sea food from reaching European markets on time after Brexit will simply result in the Scottish seafood industry finding new markets elsewhere. >click to read<12:54

Marine Conservation Society fish stock downgrade branded meaningless by fishermen

The Marine Conservation Society said that two North Sea haddock fisheries are now rated 4 (amber), and the other has dropped from being a “good choice” – rated 2 – to one to eat only occasionally after scientists said stock was at the point where action is now needed to increase the number of fish of breeding age. But fishermen warned that the data did not reflect the picture on the ground. Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said: “The fishing industry is well used to these sorts of frankly meaningless publications – it’s not so long ago that we were told that there were only 100 cod left in the North Sea. Try telling that to fishermen today who are seeing huge volumes of large cod on the grounds. Read the story here 11:48

New research at Aberdeen University has highlighted the potential size of the prize awaiting Scots fishers after Brexit

The study looked at 17 commercially key Scottish fish stocks, focusing not on how big they were, but on their distribution. Comparisons were made between the percentages of fish largely contained within the UK’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), out to 200 nautical miles, and quota allocations. For all but three of the species studied, current UK quotas are significantly below stock levels within the EEZ. And according to Scottish Fishermen’s Federation chief executive , these results strengthen the case for the UK seizing control over its territorial waters after Brexit. “It’s not fair and it’s not right,” Mr Armstrong said at a recent meeting of the North East Scotland Fisheries Development Partnership in Aberdeen. He argued Scottish fishers were at a disadvantage under the current EU arrangements and added: “This is not a land grab or an act of aggression – these are our waters. continue reading the article here 11:00

Fishing industry warns against “trading away” rights in Brexit negotiations

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation says there must be “no trading away” of UK fishing rights amid the Brexit process. It comes after yesterday’s white paper on leaving the EU was published. It shows in 2015, EU skippers caught over six times more fish in UK waters than British fishermen caught in Europe. The government paper also makes mention of a “mutually beneficial deal” for both parties post-Brexit. Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said: “The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation welcomes the Prime Minister’s stated approach to the Brexit negotiations as one of anticipating success. Delivery of the White Paper vision of a world leading food industry is an ambition fully shared by the fishing sector. Read the story here 11:15

Fishing chiefs insist the industry is doing all it can to adhere to the discard ban

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) insisted fishers were doing “everything possible” to comply with the rules following claims by conservation group WWF the ban is being undermined by poor enforcement. SFF chief executive Bertie Armstrong said: “No-one hates discarding more than our fishermen, who are making a comprehensive effort to comply with this largely unworkable regulation. “Fishermen are doing everything possible to adhere to the rules, and industry and government are working closely together to develop more selective types of fishing gear that will reduce discarding even further. “Installing cameras on fishing vessels is no more than a side show and the presence or absence of them will not solve the problem. The real issue is getting the rules right and the proper refinements in place.” Read the rest here 16:57

‘We DON’T need the single market’ Fishing boss DESTROYS Remain claims with one fact

Bertie Armstrong, the CEO of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, told MPs that the depreciation in the value of the pound since June 23 will massively offset any potential tariffs imposed on exporters after Brexit.  Sterling has plummeted by around 20 per cent since voters opted to quit the EU, providing a timely boost to exporters by making British products more competitive. And Mr Armstrong said there was an obsession with remaining in the single market which is unjustified, especially given the huge opportunities the UK is well-placed to take up in other market places across the world.  He pointed that even if the Government secures no trade deal with the rest of the EU fishermen will still end up far better off, because sterling has dropped by around 20 per cent. Read the story here 11:23

Fishing chiefs to meet Scottish Government over Brexit

scottish fishermenScottish fishing leaders will hold meetings with key Government representatives this week to promote the opportunities they believe Brexit can deliver for Scotland’s coastal communities. Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, will give evidence tomorrow to the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee in Glasgow to outline how he believes Brexit, if handled properly, could provide the framework for injecting fresh dynamism into Britain’s fishing communities. “But to achieve this, we need our politicians to be fully onside so that fishing is right at the heart of the Brexit process.“We will be telling UK and Scottish Government ministers that it would be unforgivable if fishing was traded away during the negotiations. Read the story here 14:28

BOMBSHELL REPORT! More than half of the fish and shellfish landed from UK EEZ caught by European fishing boats.

berti armstrong-sffBrexit has been welcomed as a “sea of opportunity” for Scottish fishers after a new report revealed foreign boats took out 58% of fish and shellfish from UK coastal waters – a catch worth up to £400million a year, it was claimed. The report found that EU boats caught around 650,000 tonnes of fish and shellfish in UK’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between 2012 and 2014. In contrast, UK fishing boats fishing in EU waters landed on average 90,000 tonnes of fish and shellfish – worth only about £100million. The report, produced by the NAFC Marine Centre UHI in Shetland, found that more than half – 51% – of the fish and shellfish landed from the Scottish part of the EEZ was caught by European fishing boats. The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) claimed that exit from the EU will “enable the UK to assert control over its 200-mile EEZ”, which means that foreign vessels could not then fish in the zone without express consent. The body added that the report was a “bombshell” and urged the UK and Scottish Government to work together “to ensure that the best possible deal is reached for our hardworking fishermen”. Read the rest here 19:41

Bertie Armstrong: ending EU fisheries policy a good decision

scottish fishermenFrom the article: Of course, the European Union, and the much-derided Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) are at the very heart of that, which is why so many fishermen are implacably opposed to both. This is hardly surprising and it is worth reminding ourselves why fishing takes a unique position in Europe, making it so different from other industry sectors. Sovereignty and jurisdiction (beyond each member state’s slim strip of territorial waters) is pooled and the EU uses the CFP to govern every aspect of the industry. That fundamental change – the trading of sovereignty for collective control – took place when we joined. Collaboration is vital under any governance regime, but non-EU coastal states such as Norway and Iceland retain jurisdiction and negotiate on their own behalf. Read the op-ed here 10:56

Bertie Armstrong: Fish key in sustainable food future

Recently I attended a conference hosted by the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House focused on securing a sustainable food future for our growing global population.,,  What immediately struck me about the conference was that its principal focus was on agriculture, with little mention of the vitally important role fishing plays in securing a sustainable supply of food for an expanding world population. Read the article here 09:12

European Union: Fish talks have greater than usual significance

10530873-european-union-logoIncreased fish quotas and greater catching flexibility must be agreed when the EU fisheries council starts tomorrow, if next year’s discard ban has a hope of working, the industry and politicians have agreed. Negotiations to finalise next year’s quotas that get underway in Brussels tomorrow have special significance for the Scottish industry because the phased introduction of the demersal Landing Obligation (discard ban) will deliver a major sea-change in the way fisheries are managed. The discard ban, which already affects mackerel and herring fishing,,, Read the article here 13:32