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Scottish Fisheries minister heads to Brussels
Published:  18 December, 2012

As Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead departed for the annual EU Council of Ministers fishery negotiations in Brussels on Monday, he criticised the decision-making process that will affect thousands of livelihoods.

“Scottish fishermen await the outcome of this week’s talks in Brussels with baited breath. For years now, time after time, we have found ourselves battling with the EU’s crazy and often contradictory policies and decisions, with decisions made late in the night," he said.

“Any sensible person knows that this is no way to take decisions that affect thousands of livelihoods in our fishing fleets, processing factories and at the quayside. But that is the situation we face.

“We have to strike the right balance between continuing to protect stocks and safeguarding our fishing communities. To achieve that our fishermen need quota to fish and enough days at sea to catch that quota.  It’s not rocket science but each year we have to fight to persuade Europe to recognise this.

“We must not be held hostage by the legal knots which EU policies have tied themselves up in; that’s why I will be pressing for common sense in the deal that is finally struck this week.”

The Agri-Fisheries Council of Ministers gets underway in Brussels today, Tuesday, and is expected to conclude on Thursday.

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