Ian Hudghton (Greens/EFA) – Madam President, Commissioner, it is rather frustrating for all of us, I am sure, to be here discussing the same subject again, and with such little progress made – at least concerning mackerel, which is a very important and economically valuable stock to Scotland. It is frustrating because CFP regulation and the European Commission seem all powerful when it comes to regulating our fishermen and their activities. It is restrictive and inflexible, and it is extremely difficult to operate within it successfully. Yet all that power that it has over us domestically apparently has little effect when it comes to seeking help with resolving this dispute. The Fisheries Minster of Scotland, as you will be aware, has suggested that an international mediator could be appointed to broker an agreement on this difficult question, ending the dispute (hopefully) in a neutral and objective way. I would like to think that the Commissioner has not left that possibility off the table, since we seem to be making little progress with the instruments which have been used so far.

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