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Move to avert mackerel sanctions crisis

The Scottish Fishermen's Federation is considering an appeal via government ministers to be allowed to "bank" or defer its quota of mackerel to offset the financial impact of the Russian fish embargo.

A spokesman for the association, which represents more than 500 vessels, told the Sunday Herald that it was considering appealing to the UK and Scottish Government officials to apply on their behalf for an increase in next year's mackerel catch limit, to be offset with a reduction in the current year. The spokesman said: "We are still formulating our response to the ban, but it seems sensible to seek to limit our quota this year rather than catch fish that we can't sell."

Both the UK and Scottish Governments have moved quickly to produce plans to mitigate the effects of the Russian embargo, seen as a tit-for-tat response to Western sanctions over suspected Russian involvement in the shooting down of a passenger jet MH17 over Ukraine.

Environment secretary Liz Truss announced moves to open up new fish markets. Her department, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Afairs said it will work with the Scottish government to look at what support can be provided to mackerel fishermen while alternative markets are sought.

Scotland's Rural Affairs, Food and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead, who met Ms Truss in Peterhead last week, said: "Up to 20% of the mackerel processed in Scotland is exported directly to Russia and so it is essential the UK government understands the disproportionate effect the Russian sanctions will have on this important Scottish industry."

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Local government

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