THE study by Greenpeace ("Keep it in the family: the £500m fish quotas carve-up", The Herald, October 11) fails to differentiate between the whitefish and pelagic sectors and has sought to place all large holdings of fixed quota allocations (FQA)/quota into the same category.

Comparing whitefish operators such as Don Fishing, which works in partnership with a large number of independent family-operated and owned vessels, which catch a large and diverse range of species (and therefore require a large and diverse range of quotas) to pelagic operators holding large amounts of quota on a small amount of vessels for a limited range of species such as mackerel and herring is simply wrong. The scale between the two sectors is incomparable in terms of the number of operators, the volume of the fisheries, and how quota is held and sourced to conduct these fisheries.

Don Fishing gave an open account to Greenpeace of why the company holds FQA, and reasonably put forward the reality of the whitefish sector situation vis a vis quota holdings. It is misleading to imply that our quota holdings somehow curtail the inshore sector, when this sector could not to any great extent target or catch the species that the Scottish offshore whitefish sector rely upon.

As stated in our response to Greenpeace, Don Fishing and JW Holdings both come from strong fish catching backgrounds with Sir Ian Wood’s father, grandfather and great grandfather all being fishermen. The Don operates as a management and fish selling company working on behalf of 15 vessels in which it has mainly minority shares and another 15 vessels which it helps manage and sell the catch. Don Fishing’s one and only reason for owning some quota itself and helping many fishing vessels to buy their own quota is to enable the vessels to have enough quota to be viable.

On an annual basis Don Fishing’s quota holdings are allocated almost entirely to vessels connected with the company. In most cases these vessels are operated by fishermen who are not only our clients, but also our partners. The tonnage generated from the holdings allocated is only a small proportion of the actual tonnage our vessels require each year.

Bill McKenzie,

The Don Fishing Co Ltd, Bath House, Bath Street, Peterhead.