Fishing policy must prioritise science and regeneration of fish stocks Published: 28 May, 2007
SCOTTISH Green MSP Robin Harper, Green Party Co-convener, has called on the SNP Executive to ensure that regeneration of fish stocks and following scientific advice are placed at the heart of any approach to fishing policy.
Greens say that unless there are healthy fish stocks, there won’t be any fishing industry. Harper also said that although the Common Fisheries Policy has its problems, it is reform, not scrapping it that is needed, and that the biggest problem for fish stocks is the persistent political decisions over twenty years in over-ruling scientific advice that has led to the demise of fish stocks.
Greens want to see regeneration zones put in place and more financial support to fishing communities to assist them through a transition whilst fish stocks recover.
Responding to a statement by Fisheries Minister, Richard Lochhead, announcing a plan to set up an industry and scientist
partnership, Mr Harper said: “For over a quarter of a century, the EU political system has failed fish stocks, and as a result fishing opportunity. Every year the Commission has produced research-based recommendations on fishing effort, and every year the political pressures have undermined sensible policies that would have guaranteed at least 50% more fish in European waters today if the recommendations had been followed and enforced. We need to break out of this yearly round of nationally-biased, self-serving bargaining and backroom deals, get our European partners to enforce regulations, rid our seas of illegal fishing, and create a sustainable future for our fish stocks, our fishing industry and fishing communities.”
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