Peterhead Skipper John Buchan Backs ALBA
John Buchan, of the Peterhead boat FAIRLINE, has declared in support of the new ALBA Party.
One of the most experienced skippers in the Scottish fleet, with 40 years at sea, Buchan has recorded a message of support for the Party’s list of four candidates in the North East of Scotland. The Fairline is now on escort duty in the Irish sea on offshore renewable wind turbines.
Buchan takes aim at the Brexiteers who use the fishing industry as political pawns but are nowhere to be seen now that prices have collapsed due to the problems with European market access.
“Back in the 2016 referendum on an almost daily basis at the harbour in Peterhead, you had either Boris Johnson or Michael Gove, a’ these people who made political capital out of the fishing industry. Now of course they are conspicuous by their absence.
"If Boris Johnson was to turn up in Peterhead tomorrow then he would need to learn to swim very quickly because he would probably be tossed in the dock because he used the Scottish fishing industry as a political football ...that is take control of our waters, bright new dawn for the fishing industry, it’s all been lies, I feel we’ve been let down very badly, we’ve got the worst of both worlds.
"Unfortunately, fishermen thought that removal from the Common Fisheries Policy would revert back to the halcyon days of the 1950s and 60s when you could go to sea and catch what you want where you want and do as you please, that of course was never going to happen. The net result of Brexit also means that there has been a huge marketing issue ..... the big problem now is because the higher-end market that we target in demersal fish and the langoustines, predominately the market for that has been in the continent which appreciates the value of fresh fish.
“It is imperative that we start getting better access to the market because any businessman will tell you that his customer is the most important person and it is imperative that we try and eradicate some of the bureaucracy that has now come in as a result of Brexit which has made it more difficult to export, it was very easy to export before Brexit it is now more difficult because every piece of bureaucracy has to be paid for and that money has to come out of fishermen’s pocket.
“Alex Salmond was always there when the industry needed him and tried his best and listened when the industry needed him and I can’t recall him once making political capital out for the industry. The fishing industry is important to Scotland and I think the more power we have for Scotland to become an independent nation-state the better and all I can see is that ALBA would help that along the road.
"What the British Government has done in recent times is used us as a political football for a political end and when push comes to choke they have cast us adrift. Norway is a completely different kettle of fish, fishing is a very important and trained industry to their government”.
“Boris Johnson better learn to swim if he visits Peterhead Harbour again”
Mr Buchan’s backing for ALBA was welcomed by Cllr Brian Topping of Fraserburgh who is a candidate in the Regional List for the party in next month’s Scottish election.
Cllr Topping said
"It is fantastic for our new Party to have the support and advice of someone of John’s experience in fishing. He has hit the nail on the head The vast majority of fish landed in Scotland is exported to Europe, so any delays are incredibly costly. Mr Topping said, “I was supportive of leaving the European Union for a number of reasons - the Common Fisheries Policy, in particular, was damaging for local fishing communities – and at the time we were promised the earth by the Tories at Westminster. But the fishermen have, once again, been sold down the river by the deal that has been struck. I talk to fishermen all the time and I see first-hand the effect it has had: there are fewer landings, it’s more difficult to export and everything is tied up in bureaucracy. It’s difficult to conclude anything other than this bourach has been the consequence of a complete betrayal.”
Mr Topping continued,
“It is interesting that John Buchan speaks favourably of the Norwegian model on fishing. That is being examined by ALBA in our policy conference this coming weekend because it would mean we could have access to the single market without being bound to the Common Fisheries Policy– I think that would command a significant amount of support in our coastal communities”