CFP "mistakes" must not be repeated, says MEP –

CFP “mistakes” must not be repeated, says MEP Published:  11 July, 2007

Ian Hudghton

THE European Parliament is today backing proposals for a European Maritime policy which one MEP said today must not repeat fish policy mistakes.

The policy has been given a cautious welcome by Scottish National Party President Ian Hudghton who said that to be a success it must not echo the mistakes of the “discredited” Common Fisheries Policy.

The planned European Maritime Policy has been labelled ‘A European Vision for the Oceans and Seas’ and focuses on using EU maritime policy to combat climate change, proposing far reaching measures for shipping in Europe to cut their CO2 emissions, for example.

Mr Hudghton spoke in the debate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg and warned that an EU Maritime Policy shouldn’t see maritime nations cede control of managing their waters to the EU.

Speaking in Parliament, Mr Hudghton said: “The EU has about 65,000 kilometres of coastline. Scotland has about one sixth of that and 95 inhabited islands.

“Clearly we have much to offer as well as much to gain from an EU maritime strategy which helps us to sustain and develop our coastal communities. Scotland is energy-rich with oil and gas reserves, offshore wind and wave generation potential. Scotland is well placed to develop further maritime transport hub facilities.

“Scotland has excellent marine research facilities which can contribute to a better understanding of marine environment issues; and Scotland still has, in spite of the CFP, a high proportion of the EU’s fishing industry.

“The idea of an EU maritime strategy is to be welcomed but it must not signal a shift towards EU waters being regarded as a common resource with no particular attachment to individual maritime nations. Let the EU act only where our maritime nations require action or support for their own strategic planning.

“Let’s learn the lessons of the CFP and its failure.” is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.