EC Must Wait And See –

EC Must Wait And See European Fish Trader Published:  11 November, 2002

A LEADING Scottish politician has warned against any moves to impose drastic cuts on the fishing industry that could lead to the loss of thousands of jobs.

Commenting ahead of today’s crucial statement by the European Commission responding to scientific advice which may close the UK’s key fishing grounds in order to protect cod species, Scottish shadow fisheries miniser, Richard Lochhead, called for any substantial new measures to be put on hold until a full assessment has been made of conservation measures recently adopted.

Mr Lochhead says that the £1m joint industry/scientific study commissioned by the Scottish Executive last year has now been completed and the conclusions vindicate the fishermen’s’ case that measures already adopted are beginning to work and that technical measures provide a way forward.

The study comprised sea trials conducted by the Industry/Science Partnership, and the long awaited reports were published a few days ago by the Scottish Executive’s Fisheries Research Service.

Commenting on the report, Mr Lochhead said: “Scotland’s fisheries minister, Ross Finnie, now has ample ammunition to stand up to Franz Fischler and to stand up for Scotland’s fishing communities.

“Any new measures must be implemented not by means of knee-jerk reactions from Europe but through constructive discussion between fishermen and officials within the mechanisms that are being promoted as part of the new Common Fisheries Policy rather than the current failed policy.”