Scottish fishermen have welcomed the recognition given today (3 October) by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Andrea Leadsom, of the important role fishing plays in UK food production.

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, the minister also stated that she was convinced the fishing would have a bright future outside the EU.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said: “We are delighted that it is recognised at the highest level of UK government that fishing is such an important part of our national fabric which helps ensure our food security.

“With the Brexit negotiations looming next year, it is vital that fishing is at the very heart of these talks and that the best deal possible is achieved for our industry.  Increases in employment, sustainable food production and economic activity across the sector are all now possible. This is a sea of opportunity to reinvigorate our hard-working coastal communities: it must not slip from our grasp.”