Hudghton (Greens/EFA) - Mr President, in his report on the Irish Sea fishery Mr Nicholson recognises that this area has the dubious honour of pioneering the use of emergency measures to arrest the decline in cod stocks. But in the North Sea, too, we are subject to emergency measures this year, necessary measures aimed at maximum protection of cod during the spawning period between now and the end of April. Why is it then that, after so many years of a common fisheries policy whose principal intention is to conserve stocks, we have to resort to emergency measures in the Irish and North Sea cod areas? While accepting the need for these short-term measures, we must also learn from past mistakes and prepare sensible long-term management proposals to try to deal with these situations. The technical measures which have been pioneered in areas like Scotland must be built on and improved and extended to all areas of fishery. Appropriate action must be taken to prevent the displacement of effort leading to damage in other areas and to other stocks. The impact of industrial fishery must be properly assessed, in terms both of its allowable white fish by-catch, and of its effect on the whole marine food chain. Clearly a significant downturn in fishing activity can be expected in the next few years, and clearly with that significant downturn in activity will come a significant downturn in the income of many families and many communities in our fishing areas, both in the catching sector and in processing. Just as the economic and social effects of the lack of a new agreement with Morocco have been felt in very particular areas, so the effects of these emergency measures in the long- term cod recovery plans will have an effect in very particular areas. There is a case for looking at similar financial compensation measures for these areas. The CFP review provides a challenge and an opportunity. I hope that the solution we come up with will be one that actually works. The best means of doing that is to make sure that the new fisheries policy includes significant and adequate involvement of stakeholders – of fishermen, processors, scientists and conservationists from particular areas such as the North Sea, so that we can work together to recommend proposals for management which are tailored to and targeted towards the needs of these particular areas.

Get in touch

Joomla forms builder by JoomlaShine