There is an air of optimism in the Scottish catching sector and the industry should be proud of its record on sustainability, Scottish Fishermen's Federation chief executive Bertie Armstrong said at its annual dinner.

He said high operating costs were currently offset by good prices and Scottish fishermen were fortunate to have world-class fishing grounds. But he added: "We do, however, have our challenges in the short and longer term. We need catching opportunities that take proper account of the strong efforts the industry has put into downsizing the fleet and in ensuring compliance and building sustainability."

Fishermen are also taking their environmental responsibilities seriously. "We now have sustainability in all our main target species," he said.

"We have the smallest environmental footprint we have ever had. We don't have deepwater nets tens of kilometres long. Nor do we hook albatrosses or have giant vessels fishing on stocks with no or little biological data."

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