The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) is launching a new website that will provide a true reflection of commercial fishing in Scotland and counter the inaccurate and negative portrayal of the industry that has become prominent in recent years.
The website – www.fishingforthetruth.co.uk – intends to provide a factual information resource on fishing that amongst other things will highlight the increasing size of the majority of our stocks in the north-east Atlantic and the numerous conservation initiatives undertaken by the industry in recent years that has heralded this remarkable recovery.
The website also underlines the importance of fish and shellfish as a national food resource that contributes greatly to our health and well-being, and provides an incredibly important source of economic revenue through exports where Scottish seafood is renowned around the world for its quality and provenance.
Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the SFF, said: “Our hardworking fishermen have an incredibly difficult and often dangerous job in putting the seafood on our tables, yet in recent years the industry has come under totally inaccurate and unwarranted criticism from doomsters and self-appointed armchair ‘experts’ about alleged overfishing, environmental impact and declining stocks.
“The truth on fishing is, of course, very different with the majority of fish stocks now undergoing sustained recovery in the north-east Atlantic as verified by the independent science. Our fishermen have pioneered a whole host of conservation measures over the last decade including real-time area closures to protect spawning stocks and technical alterations to nets that are dramatically reducing discards.
“This has not come at considerable cost to the industry, with the size of the fleet having shrunk considerably over the last decade and the number of fishermen employed in Scotland now at its lowest ever recorded level and still declining.
“We hope that our new website will go some way in helping to set the record straight and highlight to the consumer the good news about our fish stocks and the commitment of our fishermen in their sustainable harvesting.”