Ian Hudghton (Greens/EFA) - 

Mr President, representing the fishing nation of Scotland I believe that fisheries management should lie in the hands of the fishing nations themselves, cooperating necessarily with each other on a regional basis, such as around the North Sea. This belief holds true whether within the EU or outwith. Scotland should have the power to work with its neighbours to manage its fisheries within the principles set out in international law.

The old CFP was an over-centralised disaster. The reformed policy at least provides a foundation for a more regional system of management. Indeed, the Commission states that Member States having direct management interest may submit joint recommendations for fisheries management in the North Sea. This is not before time.

While supporting the basic principle of multiannual planning, and in particular the devolved nature of decision-making, I do have concerns about the inclusion of recreational fisheries by this Parliament. That goes in the opposite direction, and I cannot support such an idea. Surely the fishing nations of the North Sea can decide for themselves whether that is a problem and, if so, how to deal with it.

Many times in this place I have said on the record that the CFP has been a disaster for Scotland, and many times I have said in this place on the record that one of the principal reasons for that has been the failure of the UK government – successive UK governments – to do anything useful for Scotland’s fishing communities in EU negotiations. I do not trust the UK government in EU negotiations. I do not trust a UK government to sensibly and effectively manage Scotland’s fisheries itself either. That’s why I said earlier that Scotland should have the power: Scotland, a fishing nation, should have the power to manage its fisheries along with its neighbours around the North Sea and in the other areas where we have an active interest.

 

Many times in this place I have said on the record that the CFP has been a disaster for Scotland, and many times I have said in this place on the record that one of the principal reasons for that has been the failure of the UK government – successive UK governments – to do anything useful for Scotland’s fishing communities in EU negotiations. I do not trust the UK government in EU negotiations. I do not trust a UK government to sensibly and effectively manage Scotland’s fisheries itself either. That’s why I said earlier that Scotland should have the power: Scotland, a fishing nation, should have the power to manage its fisheries along with its neighbours around the North Sea and in the other areas where we have an active interest.

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