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SNP President Ian Hudghton MEP has stepped up the SNP's campaign to prevent the European Commission from extending their control over fisheries into the area of recreational fishing. The Commission has recently published a legal proposal which seeks to extend the Common Fisheries Policy and would require boats used by sea anglers to adhere to commercial fishing quotas.
The issue is currently being discussed by the European Parliament and Mr Hudghton has tabled changes which seek to remove references to recreational fishing altogether. Mr Hudghton commented:
"Sea angling is a sport which is enjoyed by countless people around the coast of Scotland, allowing them to interact fully with our natural environment. Countless generations have pushed out from the shore to enjoy a day's fishing around our bays, sea lochs and islands.
"The European Commission's attempts to take control over aspects of sea angling are unnecessary and wholly uncalled for. The EU's track record on controlling our commercial fisheries has been nothing short of disastrous. This proposal to extend the remit of the failed CFP into the domain of angling is ludicrous.
"Fortunately the Commission's plans have been met with resistance by people from around Europe. I have tabled an amendment in the European Parliament which seeks to remove sea angling from the sights of the Commission - and am hopeful that I can win enough support to sink this proposal for good."
The Commission's proposal comes in Article 47 of a new regulation on fisheries control. Mr Hudghton's amendment will be discussed in the European Parliament Fisheries Committee at its meeting on Monday 23rd March.