Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Scottish Fishermen's Federation Respond to European Vote on CFP Reform

Commenting on today’s vote in the European Parliament on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation said:

“The current CFP is widely acknowledged as being badly over centralised and failing to deliver effective fisheries management. We therefore welcome today’s vote in the European Parliament, which is another step on the way to a new and reformed CFP, but it is important to remember that a final agreement has still to be reached among the European institutions, which is likely to take until at least the middle of the year.

“In particular, we welcome the support for the decentralisation of fisheries management. Rather than a centralised ‘one size fits all’ policy, we now have a real opportunity to control our fisheries much more effectively on a regional basis where fishermen, government, scientists and other relevant stakeholders can develop effect management regimes. However, there is still no real indication yet of the scale of regional control that will be offered and this is still up for negotiation.

“As far as discards are concerned, no-one hates discarding more than our fishermen but there is concern about how a discards ban would work in practice, given the complex mixed fisheries that our fishing fleet works in. There is still, therefore, much to discuss on the operational details of how such a plan would actually work. Scottish fishermen are already pioneering a number of innovative measures in their fishing gear that have dramatically reduced discards and we believe the further adoption and refinement of measures such as these may prove a more effective way forward.”
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