17 June 2009

Stevenson Delighted by Indications That EU Will Decentralise Fisheries Policy

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the strong indications that have emerged from the most recent Fisheries Council in Brussels which suggest that the EU’s fishing ministers are prepared to radically decentralise fisheries policy, as the SNP had called upon them to do. The consultation period on the Green Paper on Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) Reform lasts until the end of 2009, with the EU having until 2012 to draw up a new Policy.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“I am delighted that at long last a consensus is beginning to emerge that decentralising fisheries policy is the only sensible way forward when it comes to reforming the CFP. The Common Fisheries Policy has been hugely damaging toBanff & Buchan’s fishing industry and it has singularly failed to reverse declining fish stocks.

“Fisheries policy cannot be micromanaged with any success from Brussels. Scotland’s fishermen are those that stand to benefit most from creating a sustainable, profitable fisheries policy in Scotland’s historic fishing grounds and it is they who should be trusted to know how best to manage our waters.

“Scotland still faces a significant challenge in achieving the decentralised policy that our fishing industry requires and there remains much negotiating to be done. However, the initial signs are most welcome and I am confident that the SNP Government and our MEPs will work tirelessly to achieve a policy that puts decision-making back under Scottish control.”

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