Level Playing Field Is Crucial – Fishupdate.com

Level Playing Field Is Crucial Fishing Monthly Published:  03 July, 2002

A EURO MP today urged the European Commission to ensure that EU fish policy enforcement is adequately resourced.

Speaking in Strasbourg on the control and monitoring regime of the Common Fisheries Policy, SNP Euro MP, Ian Hudghton, also called for a level playing field, particularly in light of CFP reform proposals. For existing disparities between Member States in the practical application of the monitoring and control regime undermine the overall legitimacy of the CFP management regime.

“Clearly, the Commission must step up its efforts to ensure a level playing field. Fishermen will only be convinced that they have to comply with the rules when they have a guarantee that the fish they leave in the sea in accordance with the existing rules will not be caught by someone else in breach of these rules – if fishermen perceive the monitoring and control regime as fair and equitable, there is more reason to believe that they will follow the rules.”

Fishermen must be involved in framing and enforcing rules within a system of zonal management, a system that will make rules more acceptable and enforcement more effective, but a fundamental concern was over Commission proposals to open access to the North Sea and leave a sea area with severely depleted fish stocks managed purely by virtue of the TACs and quotas regime.“ Without committed investment in control and monitoring, the North Sea will be a potential free for all, which could decimate stocks further and kill off fragile fisheries dependent communities.”