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31 October 2002

Stevenson Calls For Finnie To Build Alliance To Save Fishing Industry

During the SNP’s fisheries debate in parliament today Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson called on Fisheries Minister Ross Finnie to spend more time in Europe meeting and canvassing Ministers and officials from other Governments to build an alliance for Scottish white fisheries.

Speaking after the debate, Mr Stevenson said:

“It is no use Ministers simply turning up at meetings to press an argument when it is well-established that the real decisions in Europe are made well in advance by the informal contacts which I am asking the Minister to promote.

“I believe the Minister heard and understood my call and I insist that he should not be deflected from this by any concerns that officials in Scotland or in London might have about his taking control of this fight for vital Scottish interests.”


Continuing, Mr Stevenson challenged the Minister to take courage in his hands. He said during the debate:

“’Mr Finnie, you must be prepared to break the rules if not the law because the crisis in Scottish fishing is such that we can no longer stand back from the decision-making process and despite what his discomfort may be elsewhere, Scottish Ministers must become directly engaged in saving this vital industry’.

“20,000 jobs are at stake and if Scotland were to lose its fishing industry then the effect on employment and our economy would be greater than any job loss in recent times.”

9 October 2002

Salmond And Steenson Meet Minister On Peterhead Bay Project

Banff & Buchan representatives Stewart Stevenson MSP and Alex Salmond MP met with Scottish Executive Minister Lewis MacDonald in Edinburgh today to discuss assistance for Peterhead Bay Authority’s £22 million bay calming project.

The project, which would help secure and create jobs in the North-east, has been dealt a blow by news that oil company BP is relocating its operations to Aberdeen.

Speaking in Edinburgh today, Stewart Stevenson said:

“This was a useful meeting today with the Minister. The Minister indicted that he appreciates the benefits that Peterhead Bay Authority’s breakwater project will bring to the area and is keen to allow opportunities to make progress with this project.

“The Minister’s immediate focus is on opening the door to Public Works Loan Board funding for the bay authority.”


Banff & Buchan MP Alex Salmond added:

“On the subject of direct assistance, the Minister accepted that myself and Stewart Stevenson had made a number of interesting points which he will now examine. In particular, the possibility of East of Scotland Objective 2 funding from Europe was discussed.

“However, the Minister was unable to confirm that grants would be available for the bay authority’s project but would examine ways in which that could happen. It was also indicated that officials would shortly be meeting with representatives of Peterhead Bay Authority and that subject to progress made there, the Minister was open to meeting with members of the bay authority.”
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