NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

EU referendum: Fishing for Leave group launches

Fishing for Leave

Fishermen in the north east of Scotland have launched their campaign for the UK to leave the European Union.

The Fishing for Leave group said the Common Fisheries Policy has been a "disaster" for the industry.

However, others in the sector have warned that rushing to exit could "knock the industry back 10 years" and throw it into "crisis".

A referendum is being held on 23 June to decide whether Britain should leave or remain in the European Union.

Former skipper John Buchan and owner of the Atlantic Challenge is part of the Fishing for Leave campaign.

He said other countries' industries had flourished while Scottish fishermen have lost out.

Image caption Former skipper John Buchan is backing the campaign to leave the EU

"I started at the sea in 1972," he said.

"The first vote I ever took was the referendum and I was told it was going to be a common market.

"I voted to enter but I know it was the biggest mistake I ever made, and I have waited 40 years for this chance.

"In the 70s we got grants and the fleet expanded. It got far too big. We got a smaller share of the cake. Every decision is made in Brussels."

He added: "We are asking to leave. With decisions, we will have the final say."

However, there are those in the industry who believe the UK would be better to remain part of the EU.

Aberdeen fish processor Andrew Charles said he fears for a future outside the union.

"The problem that we have is if we come out what do we put in its place?" he said.

Image caption Fish processor Andrew Charles is worried about what would replace the EU

"We have a management plan and from my experience that is slowly starting to work. Every stock is sustainable.

"If we were to come out of Europe we could find ourselves with management being controlled by a Westminster government. How would they cope with that?"

He added: "I let evidence speak for itself - we have a growing fishing industry.

"Our fishing industry would be knocked back 10 years, throwing it into crisis. It's not perfect, fishing management is very complex."

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