Commission opening stance "unacceptable" – Fishupdate.com

Commission opening stance “unacceptable” Published:  19 December, 2006

Mike Park

THE European Commission’s opening shots in this year’s quota and effort tussle were today dubbed “totally unacceptable” by a fishermen’s leader.However there appears to be better news on West of Scotland herring.

Speaking in Brussels as the key talks got under way, Mike Park the executive chairman of the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association, said there had been “some movement” in days allocation and quota plans, according to an initial proposal.

However he added: “They are nothing like acceptable and are quite frankly ridiculous.”

It is understood there has been some upward movement in days allocation proposals for both the 70-90mm and white fish sectors and the same for quotas including West of Scotland cod, megrim, brill and skate. The days opening postion represents a 5% reduction of the Commission’s 25% days cut call.

But Mr Park said the Commission’s stance was “ridiculous” so far and took no account of the work done to conserve stocks.

Bertie Armstrong, the chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said the Commission’s opening position was a step in the right direction and there appears to be signs of a roll-over for West Coast herring. The proposal on this herring stock now appeared to be matching the science.

But although there were encouraging signs, there was a long way to go.

Tonight, Scottish Fisheries Minister Ross Finnie was meeting the industry to discuss the terms of the first compromise on the eve of what is exoected to be a late-night session tomorrow.

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