Scottish Minister attends Fisheries talks

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The Scottish Government’s Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead has attended the Council of Ministers in Luxembourg where the future of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) was up for discussion.

The SNP Minister said that Scotland had already shown real leadership and demonstrated how a sustainable fishery should be managed – for example through its conservation credits scheme and catch quota trials – and that the signs were that the rest of Europe was beginning to sit up and take notice.

The Scottish Government’s Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead has attended the Council of Ministers in Luxembourg where the future of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) was up for discussion.

The SNP Minister said that Scotland had already shown real leadership and demonstrated how a sustainable fishery should be managed – for example through its conservation credits scheme and catch quota trials – and that the signs were that the rest of Europe was beginning to sit up and take notice.

Speaking after the talks, Mr Lochhead said:

“The Common Fisheries Policy as it stands is damaging and ineffective. Scotland has led the debate and proposed ways in which real decision-making power could be returned to EU Member States and to fisheries stakeholders – those who have the knowledge and passion to deliver real and lasting change that will safeguard stocks and secure livelihoods at the same time.

“These are undoubtedly challenging times for many working in Scotland’s fishing industry but there are also real success stories. The negotiations promise to be very testing, but as ever we are determined to secure a fair deal for Scotland which rewards our fishermen for their decisive efforts on conservation. “

As well as discussing future fisheries management issues, the Council also expressed its profound concern at the overexploitation of mackerel by Iceland and Faeroes. Mr Lochhead added:

“I warmly welcome Commissioner Damanaki’s commitment to take a number of steps to make Iceland and the Faroe Islands see sense regarding mackerel, Scotland’s most valuable single fishery.”