Page last updated at 09:31 GMT, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 10:31 UK

Fishermen 'want out' of industry

Scallop fishing is one of the sectors looking to decommissioning

A fishing leader has said up to 20% of west coast fishermen would welcome fresh decommissioning - a scheme paying owners to have their boats destroyed.

John Hermse, secretary of Mallaig and North West Fishermen's Association, said a desire to leave the industry could be found across all sectors.

His comments followed a meeting with UK Marine and Natural Environment Minister Huw Irranca-Davies in Mallaig.

The minister was gathering information to help shape the industry's future.

The consultation also formed part of efforts to make sure the country has secure supplies of food.

'Screaming out'

Mr Hermse said Mr Irranca-Davies' understanding of the industry was excellent, but added that he was not sure how he could help north west fishing.

He said: "I would say 15-20% of fishermen on the west coast would welcome decommissioning at the moment.

"That is across all sectors - the prawn sector, scallop sector and some of the small creel boats as well.

"All these people would welcome a get out to leave the industry."

Mr Irranca-Davies said: "The west coast is screaming out for a clever way forward."

He said the European Commission's one size fits all approach to fishing may not work on the west coast and different ways of managing the seas could be needed.

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