SNP MEP Ian Hudghton has criticised the actions of Liberal, Tory and Labour MEPs which harm the interests of the Scottish fishing industry. Commenting on the actions of Liberal, Labour and Tory MEPs in supporting an amendment which deleted calls for EU action to tackle exploitation of African fishermen, the SNP President said they had failed to realise the importance of the issue for Scotland.

MEPs meeting in Strasbourg were voting on proposals to reform European Union policy in relation to fish imports from West Africa. The SNP MEP supported measures to promote greater sustainability, arguing this would be good for local fishermen and for Scotland's fishing industry.

An alliance of Liberals, Tories and Labour succeeded in deleting a stipulation that EU investment in the region should not promote excess fishing capacity. Mr Hudghton explained:

"It's in the interests of Scottish fishermen and fishermen in West Africa that European Union policy doesn't promote overfishing in the region, with the result of excess fishing capacity.

"It is environmentally bad news for West Africa if the EU fails to tackle this issue through its investment policies, and it will be economically bad news for Scottish fishermen who have to contend with unfair competition in the shape of cheaper imports from unsustainable stocks.

"The other parties pay lip service to our fishing industry, but when it comes to the crunch they are willing to back the most right wing investment policies, at the expense of the Scottish and West African fishing industries."

MEPs meeting in Strasbourg were voting on amendments to measures to deal with policy coherence for development and the effects of the EU's exploitation of biological natural resources in West Africa.

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