Stevenson MEP: ‘British fishermen disadvantaged by sticking to the rules’ – Fishupdate.com

Stevenson MEP: ‘British fishermen disadvantaged by sticking to the rules’ Published:  01 March, 2006

THE news that the European Commission is fining the French government £40 million every six months until they fully comply with EU fishing stock quotas has been welcomed by Struan Stevenson MEP, Conservative fisheries spokesman in the European Parliament.

He said British fishermen have been put at a disadvantage by coming from one of the few EU countries enforcing the rules. The European Commission recently named the UK, Denmark and Sweden as the only EU governments fully monitoring European fishing quota restrictions.

Mr Stevenson said: “It is gratifying the UK is one of only three countries acknowledged to be implementing adequate monitoring for our fisheries. But this has long been a source of concern for our fishermen who complain that while they abide by the rules, others do not.

“By sticking strictly to the rules our fishermen have placed themselves at a major disadvantage to their European competitors. It’s outrageous that countries like France, who voted for these strict controls, continue to flout them without regard to the need for conservation.

“The Commission’s proposal to fine France on a six-monthly basis at punitive levels should send a shot across the bows of the French fleet.”

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