A Scottish boat and a Spanish boat were landing there catch in Ullapool last week. The fishery officers were all over the Scottish boat and checked every last detail of what they were landing and where it was caught.
Strangely enough, the fishery officers went nowhere near the Spanish boat, and when asked why, by the Scottish fishermen, the only answer they could get was that ‘it was being taken care of’.
The Scottish fishermen continued to press their inquiry and demanded to know how it was being taken care of and were told that if they kept harassing the officers, the police would be called and they would be arrested.
Is it beyond our imagination to figure out what is happening here? Last year, the UK government was desperate to get a deal over the line, a deal of any kind, so the conversation went something like this.
“Look we are not going to be able to come to an agreement. We have to take something back to our people to make it acceptable, so here is a suggestion. You agree to hand back 25% of your quota to us over the next 5 years, and we will promise we will not inspect your boats when landing. That way, they can not only continue to land the same, but they also can get an extra 25% if they wish, and everybody wins.”
The entire system is rotten to the core and there is only one party committed to changing the system. VOTE REFORM.