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'Fishing Is Industry Of The Future'
SNP President and European candidate, Ian Hudghton today (Wednesday) vowed to continue the SNP's 30 year fight for Scotland's fishing communities, if returned to the European Parliament at the European election.
Mr Hudghton said figures released last week - which show expansion in the fishing industry – are evidence of the sector's continued importance to the Scottish economy but warned a strong Scottish voice was more necessary than ever as Europe geared up to rewrite the Common Fisheries Policy.
Speaking from Musselburgh, where he was visiting a fish merchant whose business rates have been abolished by the SNP Scottish Government, Mr Hudghton said:
"From fishermen in Scotland's ports to the small fishmongers and all the other business which contribute to this vital sector, the SNP is the only party who will speak for the Scottish fisheries industry in
"Figures out last week show that the number of people employed in the fishing has increased in the last year and the total catch of the Scottish fleet is up by 3%. Despite its long history in Scotland, the fishing industry also represents our future and that is a future we will protect.
"The European Commission has acknowledged that top-down micro-management of Scotland's rich fishing grounds has failed our fishing communities and damaged fish stocks but there is still a long way to go to ensure genuine decision-making is returned to
Scotland and our historic fishing opportunities are protected.
"As the Europe gears up to reform the Common Fisheries Policy, this election is an opportunity to vote for a strong voice for Scotland's coastal communities and a chance for a real future for Scotland's fisheries.
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead MSP, who accompanied Ian Hudghton as he campaigned in Musselburgh added:
"Protecting Scotland's jobs is at the heart of the SNP's European agenda.
"This election is an opportunity for Scotland's fishing communities to make their voice heard as Europe reforms the CFP and to make clear that it is Scottish control of Scotland's seas that will deliver jobs for the future.
"A vote for the SNP on June 4th is a vote for Scotland's vital fishing industries and the jobs it supports."