SNP to trawl for thoughts of fishermen

FISHERMEN and their communities will be given a "genuine" voice in decision-making, Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead pledged today.

He also declared the new SNP administration would be "relentless" in its pursuit of the Scottish fishing interest.

Mr Lochhead disclosed moves to set up a partnership programme between the industry and scientists.

Led by the Scottish Fishermen's Federation and the Government's Fisheries Research Services, this will aim to deliver more in-depth research more quickly in priority areas identified by the industry.

Mr Lochhead set out his stall in a speech to the Fish 2007 exhibition in Glasgow where he promised "a fresh start" for the fishing industry. "We will give it the support it deserves and push for improvements at every level," he said.

"We will be constructive in our approaches and seek to build consensus at all levels.

"We need a system that works with and not around fishermen and one where fishermen and fishing communities have a genuine voice in decision-making."