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28 October 2004

STEVENSON SECURES FINNIE ASSURANCE ON CONSULTATION WITH FISHERMEN

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has secured an assurance from Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Ross Finnie that working fishermen be consulted during the Fisheries Council in Brussels in December before any significant decision affecting them were made. The SNP MSP challenged Mr Finnie at Question Time in the Scottish Parliament today.

Speaking afterwards Mr Stevenson said:

"After last year's debacle over area boundaries, where a brief glance of the map by any working fisherman would have revealed them to be impractical and incorrect, this is a move in the right direction.

"I welcome the plans from the Minister to work more closely with working fishermen this year

"Only by ensuring that real life experience is part of the decision making process will we avoid such obvious errors in the future.

"But until fishermen and their communities are allowed to wrest control of their destiny from the EU's pernicious Common Fisheries Policy the threat to our vital industry remains.”

Stewart Stevenson
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