Legal Challenge Being Considered –

Legal Challenge Being Considered Fishing Monthly Published:  09 December, 2002

A SCOTTISH fishing industry spokesman confirmed today that the catching sector in Scotland is considering a legal challenge to EC fisheries Commissioner Franz Fischler’s plans to curb catching in a bid to save cod stocks.

George MacRae, secretary of the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association said that if a case was mounted by the association and the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, it would be raised through the European Court of First Instance on the grounds of proportionality, in other words the effect on individual fishermen of plans to slash fishing effort.

The challenge would be expected to ask whether effort cutting measures were an appropriate way to achieve legitimate objectives;were measures used limited to what is necessary for achieving these objectives,or are disadvantages caused or the restrictions imposed unacceptable given the objectives pursued.

“We would be asking for a suspensory order to hold up any moves to cut effort until such time as these questions were answered.

“And this challenge is being seriously considered at a moment.

“We have to move on this reasonably quickly as this is something which has to be done in a matter of weeks rather than months.”