The opportunities – and challenges – that Brexit could deliver for the Scottish fishing industry were highlighted at a cross-sector panel discussion at today’s (23 August) Fisheries Innovation Scotland conference in St Andrews.

 At the panel session, fishermen, NGOs, and representatives from the seafood supply chain discussed the implications of Brexit for the fishing industry.

 Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF), said: “The panel session was informative and the challenges of Brexit were clearly recognised as was the really big opportunity presented in the recovery of control of our Exclusive Economic Zone and the management of some of the world’s best fishing grounds.”

 Also present at the conference was Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Fisheries, who gave a speech to delegates.

Bertie Armstrong commented: “We note the promise given by the Cabinet Secretary to be the champion of our industry, whatever the constitutional outcome. He also recognised some of the major failings of the Common Fisheries Policy and the future challenges that now lie on the table.

“The coming months will be period of great activity for the fishing industry, and the Scottish and UK governments, and it is important that the opportunities presented by Brexit are fully delivered. We have also written to government seeking assurances that structural funding arrangements for fishing and associated sectors are guaranteed following Brexit.”

 The SFF is one of the founding members of Fisheries Innovation Scotland – an independent, non-profit-distributing organisation with the remit of bringing together government, scientists, industry and other key stakeholders to lead an on-going programme of research, knowledge exchange and education concerned with the management of Scotland’s marine fisheries and related areas.