SNP wins fisheries victory in
SNP Euro-MP Ian Hudghton MEP today expressed his
delight after the European Parliament approved a report he had written on
key fishing regulations. The report, which won cross-party backing at a
full sitting of the Parliament in Strasbourg, calls for measures which
will severely restrict industrial fishing in waters around Scotland. It
also instructs the European Commission to take full account of the views
of fishermen and other stakeholders before implementing any new rules
regarding the catching of fish.
Mr Hudghton said:
"The European Parliament sent a clear message to the Commission today - we
demand that you listen to fishermen's views. The Parliament also demanded
that the practice of industrial fishing boats being allowed to fish for
juvenile fish be brought to an end.
"Under current EU rules, industrial boats fishing with the very smallest
mesh sizes are allowed to retain juvenile cod and haddock - on the
condition that the fish is not sold for human consumption. Meanwhile, the
Scottish fleet - fishing with the largest mesh sizes - are told that they
have to throw small fish over the side. The idea that small cod can be
kept for pig-feed whilst the Scottish quality fish fleet is being
destroyed is an obscenity. Parliament today called time on the industrial
fishers - and demanded that they observe the same rules as everyone else.
"Parliament also demanded that any new measures regarding such issues as
net sizes and minimum fish sizes be approved only after consultation with
regional fisheries bodies. The way forward for fisheries management is for
decisions to be taken at local levels, and the Commission must listen to
the views of fishermen.
"Today's vote was a victory for common sense. It now falls upon Ross
Finnie and Elliot Morley to fight for these issues in the Council. We can
only hope that Mr Finnie sees his re-appointment as Fisheries Minister as
an opportunity to reverse some of the bad decisions he signed up to during
the last Scottish Parliament."
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