No concessions on days at sea, says Scottish fishing minister –

No concessions on days at sea, says Scottish fishing minister Published:  16 November, 2004

SCOTTISH fisheries Minister Ross Finnie said today the fishing fleet’s days at sea entitlement was “non-negotiable.”

Speaking at a Scottish Executive conference of fishing industry and other stakeholders in advance of the December Fisheries Council, Mr Finnie said he was determined to work with the industry ahead of the December fish talks.

He said he would work with Scotland’s fishing industry and fishing interests to bring “common sense” to the critical European fisheries negotiations.

“I am clear that our fisheries policy must be based on the best independent scientific evidence,” he said

“We still await formal proposals from the European Commission ahead of this year’s negotiations. Early indications suggest that the Commission’s Scientific Technical and Economic Committee (STECF) agree with us that the evidence on some stocks is inconclusive.

“We must continue to respond responsibly where advice shows stocks are under threat. However, we expect the Commission to take full account of the part that Scotland’s industry has played in helping to conserve fish stocks.

Finnie emphasised that they were “not in the game “ of further reductions in days at sea. “The extra days we have achieved as a result of our decommissioning schemes are non-negotiable.

“We will be working to bring more common sense into the effort and haddock

management regimes. I hope to make progress in these areas especially given

the Dutch Presidency’s commitment to simpler, better regulation.”

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