Saturday, 13 June 2015

Clarity call over Tory fisheries policy

The SNP have called for clarity from UK Fisheries Secretary, Liz Truss, over implementation of the EU fish discard ban after her Tory colleague, Ian Duncan MEP, repeatedly contradicted the UK Government’s position on fish landing and discard rules.

New regulations require Member States to facilitate the disposal of undersized or unmarketable fish and Marine Scotland is working with the offshore and onshore sectors to do this.

SNP MEP Ian Hudghton said:

“Ian Duncan is guilty of the most shameless opportunism given that his own Tory colleagues, in the UK Government, have implemented these rules in exactly the same way that the Scottish Government is.

“The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund is the route through which measures to support the reformed Common Fisheries Policy, including any measures to dispose of unwanted fish, are meant to be funded. The Scottish Government is working with industry to maximise the benefits of this funding for Scotland.

“When challenged last year to explain why his Conservative colleagues in the UK Government did not secure a fairer allocation of European fisheries funds to help implement the discards bans, Ian Duncan said Scotland didn’t need the funds yet now he’s saying these measures need to be funded.

“To add insult to injury, Ian Duncan’s UK Government colleagues are adopting the same policy in England to deal with the landing obligation and onshore implementation, and most embarrassingly for Mr Duncan, they actually agree with the Scottish Government's interpretation of the EU regulations.

“The truth is that the Scottish Government is already working to support the industry identify and develop options for disposing of any unmarketable or undersized fish landed as well as minimise such catch in the first place.”
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