Negotiations With Council Of Ministers Now Critical

SNP President Ian Hudghton MEP has today (Wednesday) welcomed a key vote in the European Parliament as an important step on the road to CFP Reform.

The vote was on the main regulation which will govern the management of European fisheries for the next decade. MEPs voted in favour of returning substantial powers to Europe's fishing nations and rejected attempts by the Commission to turn historic fishing rights into tradable concessions.

The Parliament must now enter negotiations with the Council of Ministers and the Commission with a view to finalising the reform.
Mr Hudghton commented:

"The existing CFP is completely discredited and the ongoing reform is vital for our coastal communities. The one-size-fits-all centralised approach has failed our fishermen and failed Europe's fish stocks.

"The European Parliament has thrown its support behind a meaningful return of powers to the individual fishing nations and rejected continued rule by diktat from Brussels.

"The parliament has also completely rejected Commission proposals for fishing rights to become tradable commodities. These proposals would have seen fishing quotas bought and sold on the international markets - and could have seen Scotland's historic rights swept up by the Spanish fleet.

"The parliamentary vote marks a significant step in fixing the broken system but important work lies ahead. A final deal must now be reached between MEPs and Europe's fisheries ministers, and there are vested interests who will continue to try to derail the process.

"MEPs from all member states have worked together to keep the process on track and in the coming weeks and months I intend to work alongside the Scottish Fisheries Secretary to ensure the final outcome is satisfactory.

"By returning decision-making closer to home we can tailor fisheries management for local circumstances, bring about an end to discarding and ensure that Scotland has a thriving fishing industry for generations to come."

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