Hudghton (Greens/EFA) - Mr President, the purpose of the European Fisheries Fund should be to implement the common fisheries policy, according to Mr Borg. In Scotland, though, a more accurate description of the need would be to compensate for the disastrous effects of the common fisheries policy on our communities and it is a worry that the total fund projected is about the same for 25 as we have had for 15 Member States. I support most of the amendments from the Committee on Fisheries of this Parliament, with the exception of vessel construction. In particular I support changing the presumption from fleet reduction to adaptation, so that account can be taken of individual circumstances in areas. I support highlighting the importance of aquaculture, priority for small-scale inshore fisheries and the compensation proposed for enforced tie-up. I welcome the fact that the Commission considers fisheries important enough for its Fisheries Commissioner to be here for this debate. It is a pity that the Presidency did not do likewise, but then that is all too typical of UK governments and how they see fisheries, particularly in Scotland.

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