Hudghton (Greens/EFA) - I voted against this report today, as I did at the committee stage. The original proposal of the Commission was for a cod and hake recovery plan based on scientific advice which was broadly similar in its assessment of the situation in both of these fisheries. Intensive lobbying by those whose national interest is in the hake fishery influenced the Commission and Council's decision to separate the two, proceeding first with cod recovery measures, which have emerged as discriminatory against the Scots white fish sector. At committee stage this Souchet report was almost completely rewritten by amendments favouring the national interests which target the hake fishery. This move further fuels the opinion of many Scots that certain national fishing fleets are being favoured, while Scotland loses out from EU management. The major influencing factor in this process is the fact that some Member States have governments which are prepared to make survival of their fishing communities a priority, while Scotland has the misfortune to be represented by the UK government which regularly betray us in EU Fisheries Council negotiations.

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