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peterheadquayROSS Dougal has been elected as the new president of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation (SFF) at its annual general meeting.

Previously the vice president of the SFF and the chairman of the Fishing Vessel Agents & Owners Association (Scotland), Dougal comes from a well-known Eyemouth fishing family and has worked in a variety of senior positions in the vessel management and fish selling sectors. He succeeds Alan Coghill who has been president since 2010.

Dougal said: "I'm delighted to have been elected as president of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation and would like to thank my predecessor Alan Coghill for his hard work in representing our fishermen during some incredibly challenging periods.

"Of course, many challenges still remain – most notably the forthcoming discards ban which could prove devastating for our industry if it is implemented without careful thought and flexibility. I am determined to work hard on behalf of our members to help ensure a prosperous future for our industry."

Replacing Dougal as vice president is Alex Wiseman, the chairman of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen's Association (SPFA). Wiseman is a working pelagic skipper who has been chairman of the SPFA for the past six years.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the SFF, said: "We welcome Ross and Alex to their new roles and I know that they will prove to be strong leaders of the Federation in what promises to be a very challenging period ahead."

SNP MSP for the North-East region, Christian Allard, said: "I would like to congratulate Ross on securing this position. Having spoken with him at a recent meeting in Peterhead, I know how strong a candidate he is for this role, and I'm sure he'll be a great success.

"I'd also like to pay tribute to the outgoing president Alan Coghill, who has worked tirelessly for the Scottish fishing industry over his career and in his term as president, as well as the new vice president Alex Wiseman. I'm sure both Alex and Ross will prove excellent ambassadors for the Scottish fishing industry."

BERTIE Armstrong, Chief Executive of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation (SFF), has expressed his concern that quota swapping opportunities would be diminished should Scotland become independent.

Read more: Industry expresses independence concerns

WITH only 20 days to go until the independence referendum, North East MSP Christian Allard has given three reasons why he believes Scotland should be independent.

Read more: Yes yes yes

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