Contact newsdesk on:

Classified adverts   I   Jobs                               

Small Ads & Local Services  


Hebrides News


The advantages for the Western Isles from leaving the European Union are being discussed at a conference in Benbecula.


The fishing industry highlights Brexit will bring significant economic opportunities including a jobs boom to remote areas.


The seminar, organised by the comhairle, comes it was revealed draft EU guidelines over Brexit talks seeks existing access to UK waters to be maintained.


Fishermen want the opportunity for the UK to control seas out to 200 miles off the coast coupled with enhanced catching opportunities for the inshore fleet inside the 12 mile limit.


Since joining the EU, the local fleet has declined by 25% in both number of vessels and fishermen employed in the industry, with a similar situation in most other coastal communities around Scotland.



















Significant amounts of mackerel and herring are caught off the Hebrides - yet no island boats have quota for these species.


Capturing a slice of that action plus increasing more local processing of fish would mean a boost for remote communities where employment is hard to find.


With less EU trawlers in Scottish waters, there is a gap for Scotland’s fishing fleet to expand, creating more jobs at sea.


In turn, more people would be needed for the expanded opportunities ashore - such in processing factories and transport.


The conference will discuss the need for a programme of serious fish management and investment is needed to ensure creating sustainable jobs.


It is believed for every job in fishing there are three or four posts created ashore - in finance; fish and shellfish processing; fisheries management, packaging, marketing, transport, tourism and catering.


But this raises challenges and uncertainty such as drawing up a strategy, putting investment in place ahead of Brexit as well as recruitment issues as the workforce is predicted to expand.


One worry is what will happen with the EU citizens currently employed in all sectors of the fishing industry.


Fishing leaders insist they should be allowed to remain following UK withdrawal from the EU.


They also want all politicians to unite in meaningful negotiations to ensure seafood has unrestricted access to European markets.




Processing the catch

Fishing industry highlights economic opportunities after Brexit

8 March 2018