Aquaculture for all

Call for Common Fisheries Policy to be Overhauled

Economics Politics +2 more

SCOTLAND - Scottish Nationalist Party President Ian Hudghton MEP has welcomed a statement by the Scottish Government that Scotland cannot wait until 2013 for the Common Fisheries Policy to be overhauled and that action is needed now.

With the interim report of the Inquiry into Future Fisheries Management (IFFM) saying that the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) suffers from "systemic failures" for Scotland and results in fishermen experiencing “the worst aspects of the current regime", Mr Hudghton believes it is time that the UK government listened to Scottish fishermen’s concerns.

Mr Hudghton has also called for the Scottish Parliament to be invited to fully participate in the forthcoming debates in the European Parliament on the review of the Common Fisheries Policy.

Mr Hudghton said: “The UK has the largest share of EU waters and Scotland is responsible for around 70% of key UK fishing quotas. Evidence going back years and culminating in last month’s IFFM report has vindicated the SNP’s long term position on how the CFP has failed Scotland’s fishermen.

“It is a very welcome report from a body of opinion that knows how the CFP has affected Scotland and I hope that the UK government will use its findings to press the case for overhauling the CFP now.

“Within its limited powers the Scottish Government has been doing its best but patience can last only so long and they must put the case for changes to the CFP.

“In the early 1970’s the SNP warned about the damage the CFP could do to Scotland’s fishing industry when the then Tory government took us in. That warning was starkly laid bare when 30 year papers revealed that our fishing industry was viewed as expendable.

“Such a position can compliment the ongoing CFP review in the European Parliament which is of immense importance to the Scottish fishing industry and Scotland's coastal communities.

“After over three decades of failure, it's time for the EU to give up control and return powers over fisheries to Europe's maritime nations.

"The European Parliament's plans to engage with those areas with fishing interests are most welcome and will allow parliamentarians from Europe's fishing communities to get their full say.”