Question Mark Over Norway Talks –

Question Mark Over Norway Talks Fishing Monthly Published:  31 October, 2002

SCOTTISH Fishermen’s Federation secretary Ian Duncan tonight queried how the annual EU-Norway talks on fish stock share-outs could go ahead at all.

The first round of the annual sessions is due to kick off next week, but Dr Duncan said he was intrigued to know if it would be worthwhile for the Norwegians to turn up, given that EC fisheries commissioner Franz Fischler was not due to decide until November 11 whether to recommend nil TACs for cod, haddock and whiting.

“There is a possibility of the talks going ahead to set some ground rules but in reality if there is nothing on the table to trade, how can these talks go ahead?”

Meanwhile, a call for political unity to save Scotland’s fishermen came today from Scotland’s First Minister, Jack McConnell during First Minister’s Questions in the Scottish Parliament.

Earlier, a debate on the future of the fishing industry saw Labour and Liberal Democrat MSPs accusing the Scottish National Party of diverting debate on the crisis facing catchers by concentrating on the question of who would be senior UK minister at EU fish talks in December.