Fishing fund could end up depleting stocks further Published: 07 July, 2005
A SCOTTISH MEP has warned that EU money earmarked for regions hit by fishing restrictions may now be used by Mediterranean countries to expand their fleets, putting yet more pressure on Europe’s dwindling fish stocks.
The statement by Mr Struan Stevenson, the Conservative fisheries spokesman in the European Parliament, came as the European Parliament looked set to approve amendments tabled by MEPs from some southern European countries calling for the fund’s resources to be channelled into new vessels, refits and better equipment.
Mr Stevenson, formerly the chairman of the Parliament’s fisheries committee,said: “What began as a sensible set of proposals which would have allocated CFP funding to struggling fishing communities has become an opportunity for some EU countries to boost their fleets with new vessels.
“Fisheries funding should be used to allow fishermen to adjust in areas where the EU is imposing restrictions on fishermen in an effort to allow the levels of fish stocks to recover.
“Britain has cut back its whitefish fleet by 50 per cent. The government has paid British fishermen to scrap state-of-the-art trawlers. It’s outrageous that some countries think they’re immune from common rules.”
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