No Joy For Cod Crusaders As Fischler Lays Down The Law –

No Joy For Cod Crusaders As Fischler Lays Down The Law Fishing Monthly Published:  09 December, 2002

EU Fisheries Commissioner Franz Fischler warned today that he would have no choice but to use emergency powers to curb cod catching if an attempt was made to block his cod recovery plans.

The commissioner’s outburst came after European parliament fisheries committee chairman Struan Stevenson attempted to win acceptance from the Commissioner that his plans should go to the parliament for approval before going on to the council of ministers, effectively holding them up.

However, Mr Fischler said in the event that there was a hold-up he would have no option but to impose an emergency regime in the whitefish grounds next year.

Earlier, he told a group of protesting fishermen’s wives from Fraserburgh that he fully understood concerns over the impact of cuts on families and local economies. However there were structural funds available to cushion the blow.

Tonight Scottish nationalist Euro MP Ian Hudghton said that the group of cod crusaders may have got a cordial hearing but they were going home empty handed.

“The Commissioner was his usual blustering self over the issue and showed no sign of shifting his ground.

“But as the visiting campaigners pointed out it was not them who should be trying to save the fishing industry it is Prime Minister Tony Blair.”