Page last updated at 00:17 GMT, Wednesday, 28 April 2010 01:17 UK

EU fishing decision-making 'must return to Scotland'

Deckhands gut fish trawled from the North Sea
Rules forcing skippers to dump some fish overboard have been criticised

Decision-making powers must be returned to Scotland before it is "too late" for fishing communities, ministers say.

The fisheries secretary is arguing for "regional" influence as part of wider reform of the Common Fisheries Policy that governs EU member states.

Richard Lochhead hopes to highlight the position as part of a debate on the policy's future being held in Brussels.

Micromanagement from Brussels had "bedevilled" the sector for decades, Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson said.

Mr Lochhead has joined the industry in criticising rules which force skippers to dump some fish overboard to meet quotas, a practice known as "discards".

He said: "Our guiding principle remains that decision-making must be returned to Scotland where it belongs.

"Within a regionalised framework there is much greater autonomy for fishing nations to balance the economic, conservation and social goals of fisheries policies.

"However, we cannot afford to wait for 2013 for radical changes, we need them now, before it's too late for our fishermen and fish stocks."

Mr Stevenson, who is also vice-president of the European Parliament's fisheries committee, said: "Micromanagement from Brussels has bedevilled our fisheries sector for decades.

"We have a chance to put things right."

Print Sponsor

Mixed response to new fish quotas
26 Jan 10 |  Highlands and Islands
Fish deal 'disaster' for industry
16 Dec 09 |  Highlands and Islands
Fish quota deals being finalised
15 Dec 09 |  North East/N Isles
'Vital' fishing talks under way
14 Dec 09 |  North East/N Isles
Crucial EU fish talks break down
08 Dec 09 |  North East/N Isles
Fair European fishing deal urged
01 Dec 09 |  North East/N Isles
Fishing sectors to net 9m boost
25 Nov 09 |  North East/N Isles

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2016 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific