The Scottish trawl fishing lobby has recently declared that there are “more fish in the sea than ever“. We consider the facts behind the headlines.
“Another component of the threadbare dossier produced by the greens to attack the industry is “over-fishing. This myth really needs to be put to bed, once and for all.”
Elspeth MacDonald, chief executive of Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, The Scotsman, August 2021
In recent months, some of the main trawler lobbyists, the Shetland Fishermen’s Association and its parent organisation, the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF), have made far-fetched statements that dismiss overfishing as a “myth”, environmental concerns as “misguided” and amazingly ask whether “environmental NGOs are recommending mass starvation?” – this last statement is from organisations who have lobbied for their members to land more than 45% of their catch directly to foreign ports, bypassing our own food system and workers in Scotland entirely.
These comments are apparently aimed to distract from calls for parts of the fishing industry to reduce its carbon footprint and environmental impact. The industry lobbyists instead claim that “North Sea fish stocks are in a tremendously healthy state“, or recovering and indeed that “there are more fish in the sea than ever”. It is vitally important to assess whether these statements are factually correct. [Read more…]