4 November 2010

Stevenson Backs Calls For Regional Fisheries Management As Influential Report Is Published

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the findings of the Inquiry into Future Fisheries Management which has clearly highlighted the urgent need for control of Scotland’s fisheries to be devolved from Brussels to a regional management structure. It has called for Scotland to take the lead in establishing a pathfinder initiative with other member states to trial a devolved management model.

The inquiry also made clear that as the fishing community has a wealth of knowledge in sustainable practices, it is only right that it is given greater decision-making over the way in which the industry operates.

However, the report also warned that the Scottish fishing industry is likely to face greater uncertainty than at any time since the early 1980s, making the need for structural change even more urgent.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“The publication of this report lends significant weight to the many people who have been calling for fisheries to be taken out of Brussels control and managed on a regional basis. The report quite rightly refers to Scotland’s seas as the 'graveyard for the EU's attempt at management'.

“The inquiry has taken substantial amounts of evidence and clearly reached the conclusion that this is the only sensible way forward for the fishing industry.

“However, the report has also rightly pointed out that these are deeply uncertain times for the industry. Now that a clear path forward has been identified, the change that is needed must be agreed to as a matter of urgency.

“The SNP Government and our elected representatives in Europe will be pushing hard for these necessary changes to the CFP to take place. The wellbeing of Banff & Buchan’s fishing industry is at stake and we will do all that we can to secure a profitable, sustainable future for it.”
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