Fischler Hints That Closures Will Go Ahead –

Fischler Hints That Closures Will Go Ahead Fishing Monthly Published:  28 October, 2002

EU FISHERIES Commissioner Franz Fischler admitted today that taking grim advice on the cod stock literally would leave many coastal areas in deep trouble.

But he held out little hope that major catch bans can be headed off.

At a Brussels press conference, Mr Fischler acknowledged the economic impact of taking ICES advice literally.

“ This is why I am duty-bound to think about whether there are any alternatives to taking this dramatic advice to the letter. Our own scientific and economic committee is currently evaluating the ICES advice and will give its own opinion on November 11.

“Unless it says anything different, which is very unlikely, I can see no other solution in the short term than to propose for 2003 a zero TAC for cod, haddock and whiting and substantial reductions for plaice and nephrops.

“ At the same time we will work out a possible alternative involving elements that we have already put forward in the framework of the reform proposals. A possible alternative would be multi-annual management plans with very significant reductions in fishing effort, strict enforcement of closed areas and a significantly improved control”

But later,Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association secretary George MacRae said that Mr Fischler was utterly discredited.”He and his predecessors along with polticians and scientists are saying they have got it wrong over the last 30 years.Accordingly,he and his discredited colleagues should leave office.”

Fischler…closures look likely, at least in short-term