asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will take steps to increase representation on statutory bodies representative of fishing interests for Scottish fishing co-operatives.
The Sea Fish Industry Authority is the only statutory body appointed by Ministers which has responsibilities relating directly to the fishing industry. Under the Fisheries Act 1981, a maximum of eight members of the authority are appointed by Fisheries Ministers, following consultation with the sea fish industry, as being representative of that industry. The competing claims of all sectors, including the co-operative interest, are assessed with the object of providing a membership with the best possible balance of experience and knowledge. Those members of the authority who are appointed as representative of the industry are charged with the duty of serving the interests of the industry as a whole rather than those of the particular sector from which they are drawn. It is not possible for all sectors to be represented on the authority.