McARTHUR BACKS FISHERMEN’S CALL FOR A COMMONSENSE APPROACH – Fishupdate.com

McARTHUR BACKS FISHERMEN’S CALL FOR A COMMONSENSE APPROACH Published:  30 June, 2010

Following the release of the latest scientific advice on fish stocks, Orkney MSP and Scottish Liberal Democrat Fisheries Spokesman, Liam McArthur, has backed the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation call for the adoption of a commonsense approach to fisheries management next year.

Commenting, Liam McArthur said: “While the scientific advice cannot be ignored, care must be taken in the way it is used. Even the fisheries scientists have acknowledged in the past that the evidence they provide can lead to a range of policy options.

“The fear is that the European Commission will use these results to construct an unnecessarily draconian and impractical opening negotiating position, in an attempt to put Member States and the industry on the back foot.  It is therefore vital that robust counter proposals, and the evidence base to support them, are developed as soon as possible. If not, further pain will be heaped upon a fleet that is already struggling to cope.

“The Scottish Government must now work closely with the industry and UK ministerial counterparts to prepare those counter proposals, proposals that recognise the need to get a balanced approach that sustains both fish stocks and the fishing industry.”