Scots MEP Fights Off Bid For Spanish Concessions –

Scots MEP Fights Off Bid For Spanish Concessions Fishing Monthly Published:  07 November, 2002

THE European Parliament Fisheries Committee has rejected demands for a free-for-all in EU fisheries.The Committee was voting on a Spanish authored report on EU Fish Policy reform.

SNP-Euro MP Ian Hudghton said:“The Spanish Rapporteur had rejected down to the very last detail the European Commission’s proposals on the Common Fisheries Policy.His draft report was riddled with unreasonable demands for free access, elimination of the 6-12 mile coastal zones, the abandonment of relative stability, an end to the Hague preferences and a rejection of regional management.

“However, I am very satisfied with the outcome of the vote. In particular, the Committee supported a number of my own key amendments, including the permanent retention of the 6-12 mile coastal zones and the need for the Commission to ensure that there is no legal void which could seriously jeopardise stocks, should the CFP reforms not be implemented by the end of this year.”

The Commission was also sent a clear message that the Spanish fleet is not welcome in the North Sea, for the Committee approved his amendments calling for the Commission to protect already endangered stocks of the North Sea and ensure that any consideration of open access to the North Sea be ruled out in the absence of scientific evidence with regard to the extent and value of non-quota species and in the absence of up-to-date and verifiable studies into potential incidences and risks of bycatches of quota species and other potential harm to the marine environment.