Page last updated at 23:12 GMT, Wednesday, 7 October 2009 00:12 UK

Fishing reward effort stepped up

Discarded fish
CCTV is being used in a bid to reduce discards

Efforts to secure Scotland's fishermen rewards for adopting conservation measures are to be stepped up.

Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead will be in Aalborg, Denmark, where he will hold key talks with European counterparts.

Mr Lochhead said he was seeking more catch quota opportunities for vessels using CCTV to reduce the amount of fish being thrown back into the sea.

It comes in a week some skippers said they felt let down by ministers.

Mr Lochhead said: "I am determined to help find a way forward that will see our fishermen not only survive the current storm caused by economic pressures and European restrictions, but emerge even stronger.

We hope that the Danish and Scottish experience of CCTV will provide enough justification to allow a trial of a catch quota system next year
Richard Lochhead
Fisheries Minister

"We cannot afford to ignore problems such as discards and wait until 2013 for the broken Common Fisheries Policy to be overhauled.

"Decisive action is needed now to help secure a more sustainable and profitable future."

He added: "Scotland and Denmark share an appetite for change and it's clear that CCTV has the potential to be an extremely powerful tool.

"It can deliver the confidence and evidence to managers and consumers alike that our fishermen are responsible and are not actively wasting valuable resources.

"The initial results of our trial are very promising. We hope that the Danish and Scottish experience of CCTV will provide enough justification to allow a trial of a catch quota system next year."

On Tuesday, fishing leaders accused ministers of ignoring them rather than fighting plans to cut the number of days skippers spend at sea.

The Scottish Fishermen's Federation said more cuts would devastate the industry.

However the Scottish government said it was working hard for the industry but was tied by the Common Fisheries Policy.

Meanwhile, the wives of fishermen known as the Cod Crusaders who spent several years campaigning for the industry said they were now resuming their fight.

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