Fishing Scotland: 'Never-ending battle' for creel fisherman as Jenni Minto MSP seeks support after ban
An 11-week ban in a section came into place on 14 February after it was announced on 12 January.
Despite the MSP’s action, creel fisherman Paul McAllister said he continues to feel “purposefully ignored” by the Scottish Government and “weighed down”.
The ban forced Mr McAllister to close his business for three months, Scotland on Sunday reported last week.
On top of the impacts of Brexit and Covid on the industry, Mr McAllister said: “It’s like they [the Scottish Government] are adding weights to your legs when you are trying to tread water.
"It’s a never-ending battle.”
Last week, the Scottish Government said the ban would have “short-term costs” to protect the cod population.
“The government saying it’s ‘short-term consequences’ speaks volumes,” said the 32-year-old. “Three months in a year is not a short period of time.”
The Rural Affairs committee will discuss the ban – which aims to protect cod-spawning in the area – at the Scottish Parliament next week.
However, Mr McAllister is not optimistic this will achieve anything.
Jenni Minto MSP said: “I completely understand the unique position creel fishermen in Kintyre find themselves in due to this closure.
"I have written to the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands to highlight this difficult situation and have asked that all options are considered to support the boats affected.”
Mr McAllister who has a young family said he “luckily” still has savings but he is “burrowing into them” and he still has his outgoings for the boat such as the loan and insurances.
He said: “It’s not cheap, it’s thousands of pounds a month and it all adds up especially with the cost of living day-to-day.
“I’ve got another 11 weeks of this, according to the ban.
"Fair to say I’ll be in a much worse position by then.
“I’d need to start selling the boat, moving into another industry but I’ve got a lot of money invested in the boat which is a big personal investment.”
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.