Greenpeace study of fish quotas shows sector at risk

A new study by Greenpeace, revealing how a tiny minority of wealthy families controls huge swathes of Scottish fishing rights, should serve as a warning that the sector's future is at risk, according to the Scottish Greens.

The investigation reveals that five families on the Sunday Times Rich List own or control a third of all Scottish quota, and that four members of one of these families were fined for their role in the 2012 “black fish” scandal.

Scottish Greens environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP said:

"This investigation should serve as a reminder that much of Scotland’s fishing industry is in the grip of a handful of very rich people, many of them putting profit before science, happy to wipe the seas clean rather than manage stocks sustainably so we have food for the future.

“Fishing industry voices have actively encouraged the kind of deregulated free-for-all the Tories’ Brexit crisis is dragging us toward, posing massive risks to jobs and public services in our coastal communities. 80 per cent of what's caught in Scottish waters is sold to the EU so the isolationism of Brexit will ruin our export economy.

“If we want a future for fisheries we need to distribute quotas to more local and sustainable operators. It’s an agenda that so far neither the SNP nor the Tories have shown any interest in but Greens will continue to push forward.”