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Europe agrees to new control regulation
A radical overhaul of the fisheries control regulation that meets Scotland's requirements has been secured by Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead.
The control regulation, initially introduced over 25 years ago, is one of the main planks of the Common Fisheries Policy. It places obligations on every member state to inspect landings in its ports and regulate fisheries in its waters. It also seeks to ensure that rules are applied uniformly across Europe and so has a direct impact on all European fishermen.
Speaking from Luxembourg after attending the October Fisheries Council, Mr Lochhead said
"There were some extremely peculiar and potentially damaging proposals in the original text, none more so than those relating to sea angling activities which support nearly 3,200 full-time jobs and are worth over £140 million to our economy.
"We have successfully removed the threat to both commercial fishermen and recreational sea anglers where it was proposed that the catches by sea anglers should count against national quotas. I am pleased that common sense has prevailed.
"The original control regulation - which has been in place since 1983 - was long overdue for review and had become unduly complicated by numerous amendments over the years.
"This was in desperate need of renewal in light of the Commission's own admission of failure of implementing the old rules and the critical report from the European Court of Auditors.
"For the first time it will place all the various control provisions of the CFP together in one regulation. This will deliver measures that I believe are proportionate, effective and transparent, but most importantly, applied equally throughout the fishing fleets of Europe.
"Scotland is already on the front foot with regard to a lot of these proposals due to our already comprehensive and responsible management methods which have been developed closely with the industry over time."