Ahead of tomorrow’s fisheries debate (7 December) in the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) is highlighting to MSPs the importance of cross-party support to ensure Scotland’s fishing communities benefit from the opportunities presented by Brexit.

Tomorrow’s debate will focus on our sea fisheries and the end-of-the-year EU Fish Council which commences next week (12 December) to decide upon fish catching opportunities for 2017.

The annual end-of-the-year fisheries negotiations to decide upon catching opportunity for the following year are always complex and difficult. But with Brexit looming, the SFF is underlining to MSPs that leaving the EU provides the opportunity for an ambitious new fisheries management regime that will ensure significant economic benefit for fishing communities once the UK regains control of its 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Both the SFF and the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO), which represents a broad section of fishermen in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, have welcomed Brexit as providing the structure to deliver fairer shares of catching opportunity for UK vessels. It will also put in place the framework for a fit-for-purpose management and regulation system underpinned by sustainable harvesting.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the SFF, said: “Fishermen across the UK are united in their belief that Brexit, if handled properly, offers a sea of opportunity of sustained economic benefit for our coastal communities.

“But such benefits can only happen if parliamentarians from all parts of the political spectrum join together and throw their support behind our fishing communities to ensure the best possible deal for fishing post Brexit.”