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Leslie Tait has commented on meeting between local skippers and Scottish fisheries minister Richard Lochhead

The chairman of the Shetland Fishermen’s Associstion, Leslie Tait, has commented following a meeting between local skippers and the Scottish fisheries minister Richard Lochhead at the NAFC Marine Centre yesterday afternoon. Mr Tait said he was pleased with the frank and constructive discussion that took place. He explained that the fishing industry in Shetland was fearful of the impact of any reform to the quota system, and that it was also very concerned about the lack of clarity on how the discard ban, which will come into force for the main white fish species next January, would work. Mr Tait felt that as far as the discard ban was concerned. Mr Lochhead clearly agreed with the skippers’ point of view, and he and his officials were lobbying in Brussels and at Westminster to ensure that the new management regime did not put any boats out of business. He said that the minister also offered assurances that any reform introduced after the consultation on the way the quota system operated would not jeopardise the fleet.