Hudghton (Greens/EFA), in writing - I voted in favour of this report, but would like to stress some key aspects in relation to fisheries policy. The preservation of historical fisheries interests is inextricably linked to economic and social cohesion in fisheries-dependent communities. Under the principle of relative stability, the proportions of stocks allocated to given States in given fisheries remain constant. When catch opportunities increase or decline in a given fishery, all states with legally recognised stakes in that fishery derive a proportional share of the spoils. Relative stability is fundamental to fisheries policy and the maintenance of fish stocks, and should not be undermined. Moreover, the importance of the Hague preferences must also be stressed. The Hague preferences recognise the extent to which many coastal communities are fisheries-dependent and offers additional protection. The socio-economic role of these arrangements cannot be exaggerated – they must be maintained as not only fundamental to the Common Fisheries Policy but also integral to the basic objectives of cohesion policy. Finally the importance of FIFG funding must be emphasised when it comes to fisheries- dependent communities, and in particular with regard to fleet renewal for safety reasons for a sector that operates in a clearly hostile environment.

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