7th September 2012
Responding to the publication today of a report by Maria Damanaki outlining the progress made so far during the first half of her term as Fisheries Commissioner, Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the SFF said:
“This is a politician’s assessment which tries to put the best shine on the first half of her term as Maritime and Fisheries Commissioner. I am pleased to note her headline that four times as many stocks are now sustainable than was the case in 2009, but most of the rest of her paper masks the very serious predicament that the fishing industry finds itself in.
“There is recognition that science must inform decision making but her policies lack substance for change to make that a reality. She has been far too influenced in her time by lightweight populist grandstanding campaigns such as ‘The Big Fish Fight’.
“The Scottish industry has been involved in a big fight itself for sustainable fisheries long before she was appointed as Fisheries Commissioner. We therefore call on her to ensure that the second half of her term as Commissioner is hallmarked by practical action to support sustainable fisheries, starting with keeping her promise that by the end of the year the failed plan which governs days at sea will be revised into a more sensible management regime. She must also protect the precious north east Atlantic mackerel stock from the continuing piratical actions of Iceland and the Faroes by ensuring that punitive sanctions are implemented as soon as possible.”
Maria Damanaki’s report ‘2010 to 2012 – Two and a half Years of Change’ – can be viewed at: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/damanaki/documents/halfway_there.pdf
Bertie Armstrong, Chief executive, Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, Tel: 01224 646944, 07801 626822
Keith Broomfield, Tel: 01259 742575, M: 07890 781151