Hudghton (Greens/EFA), on behalf of the Greens/EFA Group - Mr President, I wish to thank our rapporteur, Mr Ó Neachtain, and assure him of my full support for his report, which I hope will be adopted unamended. I know of no one with any interest whatsoever in fisheries who would not support the principle of environmentally friendly fishing methods: the people with most to gain, after all, from protecting the marine environment and ensuring a balance between conservation and harvesting of fish stocks are the fishermen themselves. Most of the fishermen I know are not just fishing for today but are hoping that, one day, their families will be able to follow them into the business. However, there is much more to environmental protection than just technical measures, important as they will always be. The CFP itself, I would contend, is not environmentally friendly: TACs and quotas measure not the amount of fish caught but only the fish landed. Discards are caused by the CFP, rather than prevented by it. Many people in Scotland’s fisheries-dependent communities are totally disillusioned with the European Union’s management of fisheries; so much so that, today, the Scottish Parliament’s European Committee considered a petition based on 250 000 signatures calling for withdrawal from the CFP. The Scottish Parliament agreed to ask for legal advice on this. That was not done lightly, but because there is a real and serious need for more radical reform than we have had thus far.

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