The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) had their first introductory meeting with Fergus Ewing, the new Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, yesterday afternoon (20 June).

Speaking after the meeting, Bertie Armstrong, SFF chief executive, said: “We were encouraged by our first meeting with the Minister.

“The SFF and the Cabinet Secretary were able to agree readily on a refreshed approach to the challenges facing the Scottish fishing industry, based principally on closer government/industry cooperation and a renewed focus on the economics and profitability of the sector – the rural economy where fishing is based.   If we can get that right, all the other good things – thriving fishing communities, maximised sustainable food production and the successful marketing of world-class seafood will follow on.

“The Minister listened carefully and questioned incisively in a wide and diverse discussion.  He is well aware of the size and nature of the challenges facing the industry, and shares its aspirations.

“Whatever the outcome of the referendum vote on Europe on Thursday, we look forward to working closely with the Minister so as to ensure the Scottish fishing industry meets its full potential.”