Parliament Committee Praises Grouping's Work –

Parliament Committee Praises Grouping’s Work European Fish Trader Published:  03 March, 2003

AN influential Scottish Parliament committee has praised the work being done in North-east Scotland to secure a sustainable future for the North Sea fishing industry.

A new report from the Parliament’s Rural Development Committee commends the pioneering work of the North Sea Commission Fisheries Partnership (NSCFP) and urges the Scottish Executive to consider how its model can be supported, promoted and further developed.

The Fisheries Partnership, which is managed by Aberdeenshire Council, brings together scientists and fishermen from nine countries. It was set up three years ago and is funded through Interreg IIIb arrangements.

Councillor Alison McInnes, chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s fisheries working group and vice-chair of the North Sea Commission Environment Group said:“Partnership arrangements are the only way forward if the North Sea is to be sustainably managed and the future for a viable fishing industry and fishing communities safeguarded, it is right that the work done by the NSCFP has been recognised by the Rural Development Committee in this way.”

In its report, the Committee says sustainability of fishing stocks is essential in order to secure any future for the industry.

Above all, witnesses giving evidence to the committee sought the closer co-operation of scientists and fishermen, and the closer integration of empirical evidence with theoretical models.

Ann Bell, Aberdeenshire Council’s Fishing Coordinator and Manager of the North Sea Commission Fisheries Partnership believes that getting fishermen and scientists together is vital.