Hudghton (Greens/EFA) - In general terms I find Mrs Smet' s report and most of the committee' s amendments wholly acceptable and worthy of support. Others have referred to particular activities and sectors which are proposed to be covered for the first time by working time regulations. For example my group colleague Mrs Lambert referred to doctors in training and I associate myself totally with her remarks and support the proposals relating to that sector. I do have a concern though that sea-fishermen, especially share fishermen, who are wholly self- employed, will be adversely affected by some aspects of these proposals and I seek some clarification of this. Share fishermen jointly own their vessels and are paid solely by share of their catches. Their work patterns are dictated by factors outwith any control, such as weather conditions and fish movements, and therefore it is difficult to imagine how restrictions on working time could possibly be practical in this sector. Of course, health and safety issues are a major reason for limiting working time but fisheries is already subject to codes of practice and to regulations which are monitored by competent authorities. Share fishermen up to now have been assured that their unique circumstances would be catered for through exemption. I believe that share fishermen must continue to be regarded as a special case and not subjected to impractical regulations. I will be taking full account of the potential impact on fishermen of the various proposals and amendments before casting my vote tomorrow. I will be listening very carefully to the summing up of this debate for indications that the needs of share fishermen particularly can be accommodated satisfactorily.

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