Ian Hudghton (Greens/EFA) – Mr President, tomorrow I will be voting to strengthen the ban on shark finning and to firmly close such loopholes as still exist, for all the reasons that the Commissioner outlined in her comments. Tomorrow I will be voting in favour of the External Dimension Report by my Group colleague, Ms Lövin, which is extremely well focused on that subject. Tomorrow I will also be supporting the Gallagher and Ferreira reports, both of which draw particular attention to lessons we can learn as we grapple with the reform of the common fisheries policy (CFP). The Gallagher report deals with some highly complex technical measures which have been of great frustration to fishers in Scotland and Ireland, amongst other places – a great frustration because technical measures have been in place which have had inappropriate catch-composition rules for too long, and instead of conserving resources have actually directly caused massive discards of haddock. I am glad that at last we are finding a way, hopefully, to get out of that ridiculous situation. The point here which is relevant to CFP reform is that decisions on the detail of technical measures are surely best made by the fishing nations themselves, through decentralised decision-making. I hope that will be taken on board in a new CFP. Mr Ferreira rightly points out that there are very diverse ranges of types of fishery – types of boats, types of geography, types of catches – and therefore that centralised control is not the best way to manage these resources for the benefit of consumers and communities. Again, I hope that decentralisation, rather than such things as mandatory closed areas, will be the way forward.

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