On behalf of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, I would like to extend a warm welcome to the Scottish Skipper Expo as it returns to the P&J Live Exhibition Arena in Aberdeen.
The first show at this venue last year was a major success and we sincerely hope that with many of our key commercial stocks in robust good health, giving cause for optimism about the industry’s future prospects, that the same is true in 2023.
Once again, the commitment from exhibitors and other stakeholders to this show underlines just how resilient the sector is.
Unfortunately, that does not mean we do not face significant challenges. An authoritative study published by the SFF in conjunction with the NFFO shortly after last year’s show warned that up to 50% of Scottish waters could be out of bounds to trawlers by 2050 if current proposals for colossal offshore wind farms and the introduction of Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) are progressed.
The SFF and other industry bodies are deeply engaged in trying to ensure the interests of fishermen are not trammelled by the offshore renewables industry and in resisting the Scottish Government’s HPMA proposals, which have at best, flimsy science behind them and clearly exist to please the Greens who sit at the Cabinet table.
Our fishermen are rightly proud of the high-quality seafood they work so hard to put on people’s plates, and of the fact that it is an industry with the lowest carbon footprint of any major protein food producer and one wholly committed to sustainability.
Huge thanks are due to Sharon Boyle and her team at Mara Media for putting on such a large event specifically for the Scottish fishing industry. The SFF is once again honoured to sponsor the Scottish Skipper Expo, and hope that you enjoy your visit.