Reflecting the widespread support across the political spectrum in Shetland for a vibrant and sustainable fishing industry, the majority of candidates in the 5 May council elections have already signed the Shetland Fishermen’s Association (SFA) FISH pledge (Fishing News, 21 April, ‘SFA asks election candidates to sign ‘pledge of support’).

SFA executive officer Daniel Lawson told Fishing News that the pledge was signed within days of its launch by 26 of the 35 candidates standing, with more signatures expected.

The four-point pledge commits candidates to:

  • Fully recognise Shetland’s fishing industry as the foundation of the island economy
  • Improve support for fishing science, net zero ambition, innovation and development
  • Safeguard sustainable and climate-friendly fisheries
  • Highlight the community, environmental, nutritional and cultural benefits of fishing

“Signing the FISH Pledge is a show of support for Shetland’s sustainable and family- owned fishing fleet – a commitment to support its aims and ambitions for the future, as well as a recognition of its vital importance to our isles,” Daniel Lawson said.

“Fishermen are pleased to see enthusiastic support from councillor candidates, across a vast and varied political spectrum, and it’s been an excellent opportunity to better inform prospective councillors of all the benefits that fishing brings to Shetland.

“As well as being the cornerstone of our island economy, our fishing fleet plays an important role in Shetland’s food security, environmental targets and cultural scene. Having remained family-owned and locally crewed, it has a unique role at the heart of our society.

“Shetland remains a fishing community in the truest sense, and the FISH Pledge initiative will help ensure that the aspirations of our fishing community will retain the wider political support so essential to seeing those aspirations achieved.

“I would encourage all remaining candidates to come forward and make their support for fishing known, before the elections on 5 May.”

A full list of candidates is available here.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here

Main image: Brian Nugent, one of 26 candidates in the Shetland Islands Council elections who have signed the FISH Pledge created by the Shetland Fishermen’s Association.


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