Speaking at an international conference in Peterhead on Control and Compliance within Fisheries Management, SNP President Ian Hudghton MEP gave a view from the European Parliament. He called for improvement to the "fundamentally flawed" management regime and expressed the hope that the pioneering role being played by the Scottish Government and fishing industry, through the voluntary real time closure scheme, would lead to real local control of fisheries in the future. Mr. Hudghton said:

"Clearly it is necessary that in order for any fisheries management system to be effective it must be adequately inspected and controlled, but control and inspection will not however do anything to improve a management system which is fundamentally flawed.

"The EU has begun to recognise that the CFP has failed during the course of its lifetime, and this has already led to tentative moves away from an over-centralised approach. The formation of RACs acknowledges the importance of stakeholder input at a zonal level, and the December 2007 Fisheries Council accepted that the Scottish Government could play a vital role in Scotland's fisheries management.

"Accordingly, the Commission's proposals for improved control should follow this less centralised approach - and should take account of recent regional/national policy developments. They should also be adequately prepared for possible future developments such as Regional Management Councils and, ultimately, real local control.

"The fishing industry must have a sense of ownership of the resource, and have guarantees that they themselves will benefit in the long term from the implementation of stock conservation measures. This has not been happening within the CFP to date."

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