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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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SNP LOOK TO FUTURE OF FISHERIES INDUSTRY

Friday, 15 May 2009

SCOTLAND NEEDS STRONG VOICE IN FISHERIES NEGOTIATIONS

SNP MEP and member of the European Parliament's Fisheries Committee Ian Hudghton will today (Friday) attend the Fishing Expo 2009 in Glasgow - one of Europe's largest fishing events.


Mr Hudghton will speak directly with industry leaders about the future of the Common Fisheries Policy which is currently under consultation by the European Commission. He will be accompanied by SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford, who spent Thursday morning with Ian Hudghton at local fish processor Downies of Whitehills discussing current issues.

Commenting from Glasgow, Mr Hudghton said:

"Scotland has some of the best fisheries resources in Europe.

"A well managed fishing industry should have a bright and sustainable future, maintaining jobs and communities across the country but these resources have been consistently mismanaged.

"The CFP has been an unmitigated disaster - and successive UK Governments have failed to stand up for Scotland's fisheries.

"In its quarter-century history, we have seen once proud coastal communities fall into decline whilst key decisions on stock management are taken in late night meetings in Brussels with the acquiescence of the London-based government who have consistently let Scotland's fisheries industry down.

"Scotland needs a strong voice to speak up for its fisheries in Europe and to protect the vital jobs it supports. As the only party to put Scotland's fishing communities and industry at the front of European debate, SNP MEPs will provide this voice.

"The European Commission have now committed to 'root and branch reform' of the CFP. This is an invaluable opportunity which cannot be missed and SNP MEPs, in partnership with the Scottish Government, will work hard to get a deal that works for Scotland.

"A vote for the SNP in the forthcoming European elections will be a vote for Scotland's fishing communities.

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

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford added:

"Scotland is rightly renowned around the world for the quality of its fish and shellfish. The fishing and processing sectors support thousands of jobs directly and indirectly, in our rural and coastal communities, and make a huge contribution to the Banff & Buchan economy. In these difficult times it is vital we ensure they have a sustainable and profitable future.

"I recognise the tough measures that Scotland's fishing communities are facing right now and the effect that these are having on the industry. The EU's outdated and broken Common Fisheries Policy, combined with the current economic situation, is having a dreadful impact on our fishing communities, and the SNP Scottish Government is working hard to offset the very worst of its impact."

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