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15 December 2010

Stevenson Calls For Urgent Reform Following Annual EU Fisheries Negotiations

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has again called for the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy to be replaced with a system of regional management where those with the greatest stake in successfully managing fisheries are given that responsibility. This year’s negotiations saw Scotland successfully negotiate for most of its key priorities, but a number of challenging quota reductions remain for the Scottish fishing industry to face.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“It has almost become a ritual that the annual EU fisheries negotiations see the Scottish fishing industry presented with restrictions that will make the next year even more difficult than the one that preceded it.

“Most Scottish priorities were successfully won in extremely difficult circumstances, including the extension of the catch-quota scheme which allows skippers to land more fish and removes the heartbreaking practice of discards.

“The size of the quota reductions for a number of stocks were also successfully improved upon so that the new limits are not as harsh as they could have been. However, despite that there is no getting away from the fact that the coming year will continue to be extremely difficult for the fishing industry in Banff & Buchan.

“These negotiations again show the urgent need for the discredited CFP to be replaced with a system of regional management that fits the actual conditions in the waters around Scotland. The era of top down management from Brussels has been an unmitigated disaster for Scotland’s fishing industry and it is long past time for it to end.”

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