Hudghton (Greens/EFA) - I welcome and fully support Mr Gallagher's report: another good job done by that rapporteur. In general terms, I welcome the thrust of Mrs Fraga's paper which should help to encourage market stability. This use of forward-looking methods of adaptation of supply and demand by producer organisations should be of great assistance to the overall competitiveness and efficiency of the fishery sector as a whole. The recognition of the importance of the processing sector is also welcome. This is a sector which generates very significant employment and income, very often within otherwise fragile communities. Stressing the importance of basing decisions on scientific and technical data and studies is fundamental, not just concerning the COM in fisheries, but also in general fisheries management. Moreover, the fact that the proposal will bring improved transparency and knowledge of the market and products, especially for the consumer, is a positive move. I also support the committee's amendments which seek to include aquaculture within the support mechanism. The recent and on-going crises in the Scottish salmon industry as a result of the infectious salmon anaemia virus demonstrates more than amply that the aquaculture sector can also be volatile and unpredictable. Therefore, careful planning and support is vital.

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