bid to stop illegal fishing Scotland

Joint bid to stop illegal fishing Fishing leaders say they welcome tighter regulations The Scottish Executive is joining forces with its Norwegian counterparts to crack down on illegal fishing in the North Sea.
More joint operations and intelligence gathering between the two countries are planned in an attempt to safeguard dwindling stocks.

Fisheries Minister Ross Finnie is in Tromso to meet his counterpart.

The executive said it was determined to make life more difficult for those who dealt in black fish landings.

Speaking during meetings with Svein Ludvigsen, Mr Finnie said: “I am determined that Scotland and Norway should co-operate fully to ensure the courts in both countries have the strongest possible evidence to prosecute cases of illegal fishing.

Landings inspections

“Our approach in Scotland has traditionally been to follow the fish, carrying out boardings at sea and inspections of landings.

“Increasingly we are following the money, putting inplace forensic accounting systems to deter those who trade in black fish.

“The meetings we are having will lead to more exchanges of information and in turn, to more successful prosecution of those who seek to steal from honest fishermen.”

Mr Ludvigsen described his discussions with Mr Finnie as “friendly and constructive”.

The Norwegian fisheries minister added: “The co-operation between Scotland and Norway is good and together we can co-operate to reduce illegal fishing.

“It is important that we can get the same competitive conditions for our fishing industry and that we develop the same sort of system for regulations and control.

“This is important for the management of the sea.”

Tighter regulations

Last year Scotland’s courts dealt with 150 cases of fishermen breaking the law.

In April, two of the owners of the UK’s largest fishing boat, the Shetland-based Altaire, admitted illegally landing fish worth £3.4m.

John Peter Duncan and Jerry Ramsay exceeded their North Sea herring and mackerel quota by landing catches in Denmark.

Tighter regulations are set to come into force in September.

All fish sellers and processors who buy directly from boats will have to be registered, and all fish landed or sold will have to be recorded and counted against quotas.

Fishing leaders welcome the tougher regulations and say they have nothing to hide.

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