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Caithness News Bulletins March 2004

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Designated Port Fish Landing Status For Wick 3 March 04

Four fishing ports will be added to the list of those designated for haddock landings.

Haddock can now be landed at Scottish ports of Whitehills, Wick, Arbroath and Macduff by vessels with special haddock permits under EU arrangements introduced earlier this year.

The addition of these ports brings the total number of designated haddock landing ports to 23 and ensures the continuation of tradition within the four communities.

Speaking at the Rural Development Committee, Deputy Fisheries Minsiter Allan Wilson said:
“During the December Fisheries Council, Ministers secured a significant increase in the quota for haddock – the mainstay of the Scottish fleet.

“Under the arrangements secured, vessels must have a special haddock permit to gain access to additional quota for fishing for this species in the North Sea. When fishing with a permit the catch must be landed at specific designated ports.

“A total of 19 ports were originally designated. Today’s addition of Whitehills, Wick, Arbroath and Macduff will bring that total to 23 and ensures that these smaller fishing communities can reap the benefits secured in December.”

Fishermen will be notified in writing once arrangements have been finalised. Vessel masters who hold a haddock permit will then be free to land at any of the 23 ports specified as haddock ports provided that they give the required notice of four hours.

Rob Gibson SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands has welcomed the Scottish Executives announcement that Wick harbour is to become a designated Port for landing haddock.  Others ports included in the latest deal are Whitehills, Arbroath

Mr. Gibson Said....
"This is a sensible decision and shows that the pressure put on the Executive by myself and SNP fisheries spokesman Richard Lochhead has worked."

He added...
"This comes as a welcome relief to fishermen and their communities, but it is relatively small when you consider the blows they has experienced in recent years."

He went onto say
"The main problem to the Fishing industry was the implementation of the Fishing deal reached in Brussels. At today's [Wednesday 3 March 2004] Environment and Rural Development Committee the Labour/LibDem majority refused to hear industry representatives on the Days at Sea Statutory Instrument. This shows that far too few boats will be able to land catches in Wick or any other designated ports due to bungled UK negotiations last December in Brussels."