SNP: Tell us what is going on, minister –

SNP: Tell us what is going on, minister Published:  31 March, 2004

SHADOW Scottish Fisheries Minister and North East SNP MSP Richard Lochhead has written to acting Fisheries Minister Allan Wilson seeking a ministerial statement in Parliament this week.

Mr Lochhead said a statement on changes to the controversial North Sea fishing deal must come before MSPs leave Edinburgh for a fortnight’s Easter recess.

The MSP said that following last week’s EU Fisheries Council in Brussels attended by Mr Wilson, where he met Commissioner Franz Fischler, details are still to emerge of the changes to the deal, which were apparently negotiated.

But fishermen are currently being forced to throw healthy haddock stocks overboard due to the draconian and unworkable regulations that ministers now accept must be changed, he said.

Mr Lochhead said: “Allan Wilson must clarify the changes that are being made to last December’s disastrous fisheries deal that left Scots fishermen without the time or space at sea to catch their quotas. Now, fishermen find that they are barred from the restricted area of the North Sea unless they dump the haddock stocks they catch there. It is an obscene situation and after three months, ministers finally accepted that they had to renegotiate the deal they signed at the tail end of last year.”