Responding to a newly released report from the Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation, Bertie Armstrong, Chief Executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said: “The report seems to demand a return of a three-mile fishing limit, which for good reason was abandoned 33 years ago.

“Careful reading of the report reveals that what is actually being demanded is the exclusion (and therefore demise) of two sustainable, profitable catching sectors – prawn trawling and scallop fishing – from inshore areas, in favour of another sector. This ignores the fact that the present arrangement – a mixed inshore sector – has evolved in accordance with available resource and market demand.

“The report calls for the removal of resource and sea space from Peter, to be awarded to Paul. The logic used is the fact that a live creeled prawn is worth more than a trawled one. That is correct, but the argument in the report is equivalent to the observation that diamonds are worth more than iron ore, therefore all miners should seek diamonds.

“The hallmark of the report is the assumption that static fishing gear is good and mobile gear is bad. Working backwards from this assumption, a convoluted case is laid out using lightweight pseudo-economics. The report seems to have been sent to the Scottish Government – the response of  the Cabinet Secretary responsible for fishing is awaited.”