This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Portfolio Environment


Common Fisheries Policy A positive influence


Lynne Whitelaw Environment Correspondent


A look at Scotland’s role in delivering change on fisheries management


When the European Commission publishes proposals for reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in July, the road ahead for the Scottish fishing fleet will finally become clearer. Whether the reformed CFP will actually


make the outlook for the industry better is something that remains to be seen. When a draft of the proposals was leaked in May this year, they were met with a mixed response. While most interested parties, including the Scottish Government, welcomed moves toward decentralisation there were other aspects of the plan that caused concern. Te EC’s Green Paper on CFP reform in


April 2009 stated that the issue of discarding dead fish back into the sea had to be addressed with urgency, and since then the issue has risen in prominence in the UK, in part due to a campaign by TV chef Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall. Under the current system, fishermen are penalised for landing more fish than their quota allocation allows and the industry argues that dumping fish is their only option. However, the draft proposals for a blanket ban on discards to get stocks up to a sustainable level by 2015 have been criticised by scientists and industry. While scientists say they won’t go far enough to make up for years of over fishing, industry says they could be unworkable. Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the


Scottish Fishermen’s Federation described the blanket ban as the “bluntest of blunt instruments”. “No fisherman can say, ‘I will go out


today and I will catch only haddock’ - that’s just impossible - and under the present regulations, the only way is to stop fishing when you reach your first quota,” he said. But the proposal currently causing the


most controversy has been the potential introduction of Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs) that would be awarded to fishing vessels and could be traded with other countries. Environmentalists have reacted


58 Holyrood 13 June 2011


Commissioner Damanaki and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall


launch the European Fish Fight campaign in Brussels


to this negatively, with Markus Knigge, policy and research director of the European Marine Programme at Pew Charitable Trust describing it as “virtual privatisation of the oceans”. Scottish Government Fisheries Secretary


Richard Lochhead also believes that if this is contained in the final policy proposals, it will have a negative impact on Scotland. “Te last thing Scotland wants to see is a proposal that would allow our historic fishing


“The last thing Scotland wants is fishing


opportunities to be bought and sold like sweeties in the shop”


opportunities to be bought and sold like sweeties in the shop,” he says. “Tat would be, perhaps, good news


for multinationals but not for our fishing communities who should always be given the right to fish the stocks in Scottish waters and no generation of fishermen or any government should be given the right to sell off historic fishing rights.” If the proposals for ITQs are included in


the EC’s July paper, there will still be time to argue for change to be made before the full CFP proposals are decided in December


2012. However, this is a much more difficult process than influencing policy before proposals have been outlined. Although the majority of the UK’s fishing


industry is located in Scotland, because it is part of the UK delegation at EU level, getting the Scottish viewpoint across during the CFP negotiations is not a straightforward process. Early engagement is vital, and since 2009 work to influence proposals by telling the Scottish story has been carried out by MEPs and the Scottish Government’s Brussels office. Te fact that Scotland has worked hard


to introduce new measures on species conservation has helped make the country’s voice heard; having good quality ideas based on working examples is seen as a vital part of the process. Te Catch Quota Scheme has been one


of those positive measures. Te EC gave permission for it to be piloted by 17 Scottish fishing boats last year, and this year, it has been expanded to include around 40. Vessels are allowed to land all the cod they catch after filling their original quota in return for having their boats fitted with monitoring equipment to ensure fishermen are not breaking the rules. “Tere’s no doubt that the commission and other member states have sat up and taken notice of what’s happening in Scotland and there has been international recognition of the fact that Scotland has blazed a trail in terms of fisheries conservation,” says Lochhead. SNP MEP Ian Hudgton, who sits on the


© European Union 2011


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80