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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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PARTY PUTTING FISHERIES AT TOP OF AGENDA LAUNCHES MANIFESTO

Saturday, 23 May 2009

SNP MEP and Member of the European Parliament's Fisheries Committee Ian Hudghton has pledged to fight for the return of powers over fisheries to fishing nations as he launched the SNP fisheries manifesto.

Speaking from the Macduff Shellfish plant, a state of the art fish processor in Mintlaw where he and local SNP Westminster candidate Eilidh Whiteford were meeting with management and staff to discuss the future of fisheries in Scotland, Mr Hudghton said:

“Scotland has some of the best marine resources in Europe and our fishing communities have what it takes to thrive once more.

“As businesses such as Macduff Shellfish illustrate, Scottish fisheries – and the many industries which feed into them – are major employers.

“Working together with SNP MEPs and fishing communities, the Scottish Government has been the first to put this vital industry at the top of the agenda. We will continue to work in partnership to ensure a long and prosperous future for the Scotland’s fisheries.

“In Government in Scotland, the SNP have established the Scottish Fisheries Council and worked to provide practical help – such as the Fishing Fuel Plan – to the fisheries industry.

“In Europe, the SNP is the only party who will speak up for Scotland’s coastal communities as the European Fisheries Policy is rewritten.

“We will campaign for the retention and expansion of historic fishing rights, for a greater voice for stakeholders in fisheries negotiations and for a new and sustainable approach to fisheries management.

“Powers over fisheries must be returned to Europe’s fishing nations, and the SNP is committed to bringing these powers home.

“A vote for the SNP at the forthcoming European elections is a vote for Scotland’s fishing industry and the vital jobs it supports."

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford added:

"Scotland is highly regarded worldwide for the quality of its fish and shellfish. The fishing, processing and aquaculture sectors support thousands of jobs directly and indirectly, often in rural and coastal communities, and make a huge contribution to our economy. In these difficult times it is vital we ensure they have a sustainable and profitable future.

“These are tough times for the fishing industry. Success stories like Macduff Shellfish show how consumers around the world recognise the quality of the seafood exported from the North-east.”

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