Marine News from John Kinsman, St Monans Coastwatch, Fife
Far East Markets Getting Taste for Fife Shellfish
East Neuk of Fife fishermen could turn Brexit to their advantage and hold the gun to the head of Europe instead of the other way around, a fisherman has claimed. The Pittenweem based businessman who asked not to be named, said “There is a worry about the transition period when Britain leaves the EU next year”. However, he said some shellfish buyers are already finding alternative markets in the Far East.
The fisherman said, “What the Europeans are saying is, ‘if you come out of Europe we will not buy any of your seafood’. But what you are getting right now is a lot of buyers selling to the markets in Asia. There are bigger markets and they are getting twice the price for it”. In 2015 even before the Brexit vote Scottish government figures showed food and drink exports from Scotland to China were worth £83 million, up 83% since 2007. Seafood makes up the bulk of exports with £43 million worth of Scottish products being exported to China.
European Boats Should Be Excluded From Scottish Waters
An East Neuk of Fife prawn fisherman has called for the UK to be granted exclusive access to its territorial waters and for European boats to face serious consequences if boundaries are breached. In a heartfelt interview at Pittenweem Harbour, Fife’s main fishing port, the businessman who owns several boats said he hopes Brexit will see European boats excluded from UK territorial waters. But if concessions are given during Brexit transition talks he hopes European boats fishing in Scottish waters who contribute nothing to the Fife economy would be forced to land their catch in Scotland for processing and to buy fuel and supplies.
The Fisherman who asked not to be named said, “The prawn industry is healthy, the market is healthy at present anyway, but the quota system is not healthy for UK fishermen or conservation”. He said the UK government needs to stop talking about Brexit and start doing something about it. Of the ongoing Brexit talks he said, “They are going around in circles. People in Europe are saying we want control of your waters for the first two years. But I want to know ‘what’s that about?’ The UK government have sold us out many times, we don’t expect better”.
Coastwatch St Monans has had another busy month. In one incident they were called out to on the 21st July, an elderly lady had fallen on rocks about 3 miles from St Monan village. HM Coastguards paged Coastwatch St Monans team. The injured lady was carried across the slippery rocks to a waiting ambulance. The lady suffered a broken leg. Coastwatch St Monans team were John Kinsman, Anne Kinsman, Henry Sun, Sue Johnstone and one new recruit.