Scottish Government backs UK plans to quit London Fisheries Convention

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 3 July 2017 in News

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said plans to withdraw from the London Fisheries Convention were “an important moment as we take back control of our fishing policy”

Fishing - credit: PA

The Scottish Government has thrown its support behind UK plans to quit a major international fishing agreement.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said plans to withdraw from the London Fisheries Convention, which allows vessels from six European countries to fish in UK waters, were “an important moment as we take back control of our fishing policy”.

But while the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation welcomed the move, environmental groups have questioned what attempts to leave international agreements would mean for the future of regulation.


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Rural affairs secretary Fergus Ewing said the Scottish Government had been pressing for the decision “for some time”.

He said: "Our priority is to protect our fishing industry and allowing unrestricted access to our waters to remain through this convention clearly would not be doing that."

Ewing added: "The Scottish government will always stand up for our fishing industry, which too often has been let down by the UK government."

Appearing on the Andrew Marr show, Gove outlined plans to withdraw from EU common fisheries policy, which allows all European countries access between 12 and 200 nautical miles off the UK, saying it had been an “environmental disaster”.

He said: “When we leave the European Union we will become an independent political state and that means that we can then extend control of our waters up to 200 miles or the median line between Britain and France, and Britain and Ireland.”

Gove said: "Leaving the London Fisheries Convention is an important moment as we take back control of our fishing policy.

"It means for the first time in more than 50 years we will be able to decide who can access our waters.

"This is an historic first step towards building a new domestic fishing policy as we leave the European Union - one which leads to a more competitive, profitable and sustainable industry for the whole of the UK."

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