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We've Got What It Takes For A Sustainable Fishing Future
SNP President Ian Hudghton MEP has today (Tuesday) called for the return of fisheries management powers to Europe's fishing nations and an ending of the EU's central role in fisheries decision making.
The call comes on the day the European Commission is expected to approve a paper aimed at kick-starting the debate on the future of the Common Fisheries Policy. Mr Hudghton's call was supported by SNP colleagues in the Scottish and UK Parliaments.
The Commission is expected to acknowledge that the CFP has failed to deliver a sustainable fishing industry and is calling for every aspect of fisheries policy to be reviewed. Ian Hudghton MEP commented:
"I welcome the fact that the Commission has finally acknowledged that the CFP has been an unmitigated disaster. In its quarter-century history, we have seen once proud fishing communities fall into decline whilst key decisions on stock management are taken in late night meetings in Brussels.
"The Commission has stated that no aspect of the CFP should go untouched in the discussions on fisheries reform. I agree and believe that the fiction that centralised control of fishing is a fundamental part of the EU must be shown for what it is.
"The problems with the CFP began when historic rights were taken away from Europe's coastal nations and powers were transferred to the centre. It is now time to reverse that process and return these powers to individual nations working in cooperation on a regional basis.
"A well managed fishing industry should and does have a bright and sustainable future. Scotland continues to have some of the best fisheries resources in Europe and the management of those resources should be brought closer to Scotland's fishing communities.
"In the 1970s, the Conservative government said that the fishing industry was 'expendable'. In subsequent decades successive Labour and Tory governments concurred with this view by signing us up to the CFP. This wholesale review of European fisheries finally gives us the opportunity to redress the balance - and return the powers to where it matters."