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Scottish Fisheries Minister Criticises CFP

by the Fish Site Editor
04 November 2009, at 12:00am

SCOTLAND, UK - The Fisheries Minister has issued a damning verdict on the EU's new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Richard Lochhead has outlined the damning verdict on the CFP at a major international conference in Edinburgh, reports STV.

International fishing leaders heard how industry regulation is having a crippling effect on Scotland's fishermen.

Mr Lochhead is to instead push for a more devolved decision-making structure where Scotland’s fleets are able to take control of its own fisheries.

Six of Europe's seven Regional Advisory Councils (RACs), representatives from the European Commission and Member States, scientists, economists and experts from Japan and Australia are gathering to discuss reform of the CFP which is due to be replaced in 2013.

The Fisheries Secretary has described the regulation as the "the most ill though-out European policy affecting Scotland". He will also demand swifter action to address the scandal of discards.

Speaking ahead of the Conference, Mr Lochhead said: "Some of our fishermen are in the middle of a storm caused by a broken CFP and low quayside prices, but by working together we can navigate our way through it.

"The Commission must act now on discards to help to help the fishing industry sail towards a more sustainable and profitable future."

Mr Lochhead is also to ask to call time on fish discards.

Scots fishermen often catch several species of fish in one net because different species often swim together in Scottish waters. Under European legislation, separate quotas are issued for each individual species, meaning when several species are caught in the same net, the law means they must be dumped back into the sea, even if they are already dead.

During 2007, whitefish worth an estimated £60 million was discarded in the North Sea.

Scottish Ministers believe an estimated £180 million worth of dead fish could be dumped if the law is not changed, according to STV.

the Fish Site Editor