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SFF Say Little Has Changed in the New EC Proposals

EU - Responding to the release today of a press statement from the EC outlining its proposals for quotas and fishing opportunities for 2009, Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermens Federation (SFF), said that he saw no great surprises.

“Much of which we will strongly oppose. We understand and share the management aims - and will be offering realistic solutions based on a more intelligent approach to fisheries management.

“Some cuts are totally unjustifiable, for example the EC’s call for a reduction in the North Sea and West coast langoustine quotas, given that the stocks are in a healthy state.

“For other stocks, we don’t dispute the underlying science in the assessment process, but we do strongly oppose the crude management approach of slashing quotas and effort. This is the approach that the EC has always adopted in the past and bitter experience shows that in many instances this simply does not work.

“Scottish fishermen have been pioneering a range of innovative new measures this year, including real-time closures and a carefully targeted effort control scheme that we believe are helping stocks to recover, whilst at the same time offering fishermen the chance to earn a living. We will be pressing for a more clever approach to fisheries management that will help stocks recover and reduce discarding, rather than further turns on the ratchet of a machine which has not worked.”