Hudghton (Greens/EFA) - Mr President, without verifiable up-to-date independent scientific advice it is impossible to establish a TAC regime. How, then, could the Commission support such a regime? How could the Council endorse such a scheme in June 2002 without proper consultation with the industry and the North East Atlantic Fisheries Council being left out of the picture? The Commission has a lot to answer for in this, but the main appeal that I make at this stage is not forrecrimination but for the proposal to be reconsidered. If conservation of stocks is to be achieved, we must regulate deep-sea fisheries under a regime based on effort limitation. We must take into account firstly that TACs will increase mortality through discards of the species most in the need of protection, and secondly,that safety could be put at risk as vessels with inadequate quota but a deficit in fishing days would be pressurised to fish under perilous conditions. I urge this House and also the Commission to support the amendments in the name of the ELDR Group and those in my name which are signed by various members of the four largest groups in this House. Finally, the social and economic implications of any final proposal must be fully assessed and measured for compensation provided where appropriate and without discrimination between fishermen in different Member States.

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