Scotland Office Minister Lord Duncan held a major meeting today (Friday July 27th) about Hebridean fisheries prospects in the premises of Islander Shellfish on the Cromwell Street Quay.

The meeting was described as focussed, constructive and realistic by others present, including Duncan Macinnes, secretary of the Western Isles Fishermen’s Association; Ronnie Scott of Islander Shellfish; and Alasdair Macleod, vice-chair of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Policy and Resources Committee, all pictured above.

Lord Duncan was visiting a wide variety of stakeholders during his one day visit, including the council, Stornoway Smokehouse, HIAL, Islander Shellfish, the Stornoway Port Authority and CalMac.

He was updating them on the government’s Brexit position as well as hearing about their thoughts on future opportunities available as the UK leaves the European Union.

Lord Duncan said after the meeting that one of the key areas of concern for the fishing industry in the Hebrides and throughout the country was finding people interested in becoming fishermen.

In the past ten years, much of the manpower had come from abroad, particularly the Philippines.  The challenge was to find a way to make the industry attractive to young people, particularly from outside traditional fishing areas.

Lord Duncan was elected to the European Parliament in 2014, and resigned upon his appointment to the House of Lords.

In 1999 he became the Deputy Chief Executive, and Secretary for the Scottish Fishermen's Federation.

From 2004-2005 he acted as the Head of Policy & Communication for the Scottish Refugee Council.

Before becoming an MEP, Duncan worked as Head of the EU Office for the Scottish Parliament, a position he held between 2005 and 2011, at which time he was appointed Clerk to the Parliament's European Committee and EU Advisor to the Parliament.