Defend Decision At Meeting In Scotland,Officials Urged –

Defend Decision At Meeting In Scotland,Officials Urged Fishing Monthly Published:  15 June, 2002

THE Scottish Fishermen’s Federation has invited top EC officials to attend a meeting at a deepwater port in Scotland to allow them to explain how a controversial fragile stocks deal will help conservation.

Hamish Morrison the federation’s chief executive, has written to EC conservation director John Farnell to point out that a workshop on deepwater species postponed until July 18 is now superfluous following the “extraordinary” decision to approve a TAC deal last Tuesday.

EC fisheries Commissioner Franz Fischler’s decision not to challenge this deal has come under heavy fire from the UK fishing industry, although Commission sources have stressed he was not influenced by the Spanish presidency.

Now, Mr Morrison has said that a meeting in for example Lochinver where EC officials could explain themselves to deepwater fishery participants would be “useful.”

And rather than inviting industry representatives to Brussels it would be helpful if Mr Farnell, or indeed the Commissioner and appropriate colleagues were to attend a meeting at one or other of the ports the deepwater fleets operate from.

“ I am sure that skippers and owners would be fascinated by your explanation of how the proposed regulation will help to conserve the stocks.Any advice you may have on how to manage the social and economic effects of the new arrangements would be particularly welcome.The SFF would be very willing to arrange such a meeting at, say, Lochinver where a good audience of French, Spanish, Irish and UK skippers might be expected.”