Scotsman: Crew looks for plenty more fish in sea... off Morocco
A HEBRIDEAN fishing crew is heading for Morocco because they claim they are unable to catch enough fish in their home waters.
Published: 18.11 - 2007 18:44Printer version    
Scotsman, 4 nov 2007


A HEBRIDEAN fishing crew is heading for Morocco because they claim they are unable to catch enough fish in their home waters.

The Barra-registered Prowess is sailing to the coast of North Africa to catch sardines and mackerel because the quotas for Scottish waters have run out.

The four-week trip is possible under an EU agreement allowing a certain number of European vessels to catch in Moroccan waters each year.

For a Scottish boat to venture so far south is almost unknown. Decades ago, Scottish and UK vessels fished off Iceland and Norway, and some even went to the waters off Newfoundland. But in recent years they have mostly stayed in UK waters.

John Archie MacLeod, the skipper of the 60-metre boat, said: "There are plenty of fish in the seas up here but the problem is that we are not allowed to catch them. So we're going to Morocco, and we will land down there. We've been around the English Channel a couple of times before, but this is the first time we have headed for North Africa."

The vessel will fish for the limited UK quota off North Africa which is mostly for fish such as sardines and mackerel, and they will land their catches in the port of Dajhla. The 10-man crew will take on an extra four Moroccans when they arrive in order to get local knowledge about the best fishing grounds.

Ironically, some of the sardines they will catch are likely to find their way to the UK in cans. Each year, the UK imports about 2,400 tonnes of sardines from Morocco.

The controversial EU Common Fisheries Policy allocates various nations certain quotas of the various species which they may catch. Once quotas have run out, the crews must either stay at port or go elsewhere to find fish.

Crunch EU fishing talks on next year's quotas will be held in Brussels in the run-up to Christmas. For the first time in six years, International Council for the Exploration of the Sea scientists have not advocated a complete ban on netting North Sea cod.

Scottish ministers think crews north of the Border should be allowed to catch more cod this year, as well as more haddock and whiting.

Last month, Scotland on Sunday reported how farmers are being urged to grow tropical fish in their barns to make money.

Scientists claim farmers could balance their books by converting disused outhouses to rear tilapia - which usually thrive in the warm waters of Africa and Asia.

Related topic




Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
EU Court cases on Western Sahara for dummies


It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the five different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Stand up for the Gdeim Izik 25!


Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
Support Western Sahara Resource Watch


Help us to protect the natural resources of Western Sahara for the Saharawi people. Support our work by making a donation.
Report: Moroccan green energy used for plunder


At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents. News Archive 2018 News Archive 2017 News Archive 2016 News Archive 2015 News Archive 2014 News Archive 2013 News Archive 2012 News Archive 2011 News Archive 2010 News Archive 2009 News Archive 2008 News Archive 2007 News Archive 2004-2006

Register for our English newsletter:

These web pages have been built with the financial support of the trade union Industry Energy