Elspeth Macdonald, CEO of the SFF, said: “While we study the detail of the agreement reached on fisheries between the UK and EU for 2021, it is an important milestone in the new relationship between two independent coastal states.
“As the Brexit deal on fisheries fell so woefully short of what the UK Government had promised the industry, it was important for the UK negotiators to secure as good a deal as was possible for 2021 under these new arrangements. We know that Defra and Marine Scotland worked tirelessly to do so, and to resist the Commission’s objective of binding the UK as closely as possible to the orbit of its Common Fisheries Policy.
“We are clearly almost mid-way through 2021 already. This is proving to be a very tough year for our whitefish fleet, reeling from the dual blows of that Brexit deal and cuts to the Total Allowable Catches for some of our key commercial species, due in no small part to science riddled with intrinsic uncertainties and that has not kept pace with changing natural systems. The agreement will allow the UK and EU to now move on to discuss whether quota transfers between the parties can be agreed for this year, which could help to alleviate some of the severe problems our industry is currently facing.
“This has not been an easy negotiation, and we know the UK team has worked hard for several months to achieve the best outcome that was possible. We are very grateful to them for their efforts.”