Hudghton (Greens/EFA) - Mr President, in supporting the reports that are the subject of debate, I must also take the opportunity to make some more general comments on international and multinational agreements in fisheries. If agreements between fishing nations are to succeed, there must be clear incentives for all parties to comply with such conservation measures as may be required from time to time. There must also be faith in the scientific advice, which is used as a basis for conservation, and management plans. From the point of view of my own fishing nation, Scotland, the common fisheries policy, the EU's very own international agreement, has not been a great success. The so-called cod recovery plan is actually causing discards of perfectly good fish and is imposing an almost unworkable combination of quota restrictions and days at sea. The current dispute over mackerel – Scotland's most valuable fishery – that we have heard about from other speakers has implications for all international negotiations. If there is to be any hope of successful agreements between fishing nations, then we cannot have a situation where stocks are threatened by a race to catch all the available fish on a unilateral basis. I ask that the Commissioner continue her good work in striving for a solution to this dispute. I know that she is well aware of the strength of feeling in Scotland about this from her recent visit, but I appeal in broad terms for the Commissioner to keep in mind the need to ensure that we have robust scientific advice in all that we try to do, that we have sensible, workable rules in management plans – which would be a novelty under the CFP – and that we have, above all, incentives for those who are the subject of these plans, i.e. fishing communities, to comply.

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