Page last updated at 16:00 GMT, Monday, 3 December 2012

Ministerial statement: EU fisheries negotiations

Rural Affairs and Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said that a radical overhaul of the Common Fisheries Policy was vital , during a ministerial statement on the forthcoming EU fisheries negotiations on 4 December 2012.

With the negotiations over how much countries are allowed to fish often going on into the early hours Mr Lochhead said: "We can expect these crucial decisions to be taken by bleary-eyed ministers at some ungodly hour of the early morning in Brussels, following hours of unseemly horse trading.

"I'm clear that's not the way in which Europe should govern its fisheries. And that's why a radical overhaul of the Common Fisheries Policy is so vital.

"We have got to move away from Brussels-based micromanagement and bring decision making closer to home, to those who best know our rich and diverse waters."

Mr Lochhead also said "As usual, we'll have our work cut out fighting to protect Scotland's position."

Scottish fishing leaders said in September they were disappointed that fresh discussions led to no agreement to end the long-running dispute over mackerel quotas.

The EU, Norway, Iceland and the Faroes were all represented at the talks.

The island nations have been criticised for declaring huge catches of the valuable fish in recent years, leading to fears for its sustainability.

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