Thursday, 3 December 2009
The Public Hearings on reform of the Common Fisheries Policy taking place in Brussels this week were an opportunity for Members of the European Parliament and experts that included industry representatives to voice opinions and concerns on the European Commission's current White Paper on CFP Reform.
SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford accompanied Euro-MP Ian Hudghton who has resolved to table amendments in the European Parliament to reflect the concerns of the Scottish fishing industry.
Ian Hudghton MEP, who spoke during the sessions, said:
"I am encouraged that nearly all the experts who contributed to the public hearing stressed the need for some form of decentralisation, and stressed the fact that the CFP has been an unmitigated failure up until now.
"Scottish fishing leaders made impassioned contributions at the hearings, voicing the distinct needs of our whitefish, nephrops and pelagic sectors, and the need for policies that promote economic and social sustainability alongside conservation.
"I will be tabling amendments in the European Parliament that reflect the concerns of the Scottish fleets, and seek to return genuine control of fisheries management to Europe's fishing nations."
Eilidh Whiteford, who also attended the Public Hearings, commented:
"It's clear that fishing industry representatives from several parts of Europe share the Scottish Government's vision of a more regionalised approach to fisheries management. We heard repeatedly from experts, and those who represent fishing communities that urgent action is needed on the CFP, and that a 'one size fits all' approach simply does not work.
"Scottish fishermen are leading the rest of Europe in sustainable fishing practices, but we need to ensure that fishing is also economically viable, sustaining jobs and livelihoods in our coastal communities."