Scottish fleet's efforts "must be recognised" – Fishupdate.com

Scottish fleet’s efforts “must be recognised” Published:  29 November, 2007

Ian Hudghton

SNP President, Ian Hudghton MEP has bitterly criticised the European Commission proposals to reduce the days at sea allocated to the fleet

He said the in drafting their suggested regulation, the Commission has failed to take fully into account the voluntary “real time closures” scheme currently being operated by the Scottish fleet in conjunction with the Scottish Government.

Mr Hudghton commented: “The Commission’s proposal marks the beginning of the annual circus, which culminates in the December fisheries council. For almost quarter of a century, this farce has been played out every year, whilst stocks continue to be thrown back into the sea and fishing communities see their livelihoods go to the wall.

“This year something has changed: the Scottish fishing industry,

together with the Scottish government, has embarked upon a voluntary

scheme, whereby fishing grounds are closed when juvenile stocks are

prevalent. However, the Commission remain too inflexible to respond

adequately to this, and continue to punish the Scottish fleet despite

their best efforts.

“At a time when the Scottish fleet should be receiving plaudits for

their conservation efforts, the Commission seems intent on pushing

them further to the brink.”

He said the Commission proposal must not be allowed to undermine the Scottish fleet’s efforts to achieve full sustainability. “These proposed cuts in days at sea must be resisted by Ministers at the December Council.”

www.fishupdate.com is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.