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SFF Congratulates Park On WWF Award

SCOTLAND, UK - The Scottish Fishermen's Federation (SFF) has welcomed the news that Mike Park, chief executive the Scottish Whitefish Producers Association, has received the WWF Award for Conservation Merit 2011.

Mike Park received the award yesterday (2 May) at a special ceremony in St Gallen, Switzerland, which was made in recognition of his leadership and efforts in improving conservation measures in the Scottish whitefish fisheries and his work in encouraging sustainable fishing practices in Scotland and beyond.

SFF Chief Executive Bertie Armstrong said: "Mike is to be congratulated on being selected for this recognition. The NGOs play a large part in shaping public opinion, and it is a fact of today that the best development of fisheries management will result from collaborative work between the industry, fisheries managers and the NGOs."

WWF said that the award recognised significant contributions to grass roots conservation work as well as conservation achievement over a long period of time.

WWF Scotland Director, Dr Richard Dixon, said: "We are delighted that Mike's work and leadership in the drive for sustainable white fish fisheries are being rewarded by this WWF conservation merit award. His action is very much part of the innovative work being done in Scotland to ensure that fishing continues to play its crucial role in our coastal communities through greater protection for the marine environment."

Mike Park responded: "This prestigious award is clear recognition of the very positive changes being adopted by Scotland's fishermen and that our efforts are now very much lauded on a broader international stage.

"It is very encouraging to be noticed in this way. I am very aware that our efforts are clearly distinguishable from that of other EU Member states. Developments in Scotland are very much based on a regional approach and many of the positive changes result from industry led initiatives, which remain unilateral in their application.

"Our work has shown that the bottom-up policy is respected above all else and that incorporating fishers into the management process is a necessary and positive step. We have shown also that the creation of a multi stakeholder, co-management group is a further necessary development with the Scottish Conservation Credits group now providing that function.

"With others, I remain very much committed to the continued development of the Scottish approach to sustainable harvesting. However, our future plans will be very much governed by the degree of regionalisation and decentralisation that CFP reform brings."

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