>> 10 June 2009

Banff & District SNP councillor Ian Gray has welcomed the approach from Aberdeenshire Council to all Scottish MEP’s urging them to take advice from the Scottish fishing industry before agreeing to any new legislation on fisheries.

The move was agreed at a recent meeting of the council's Fisheries Working Group and follows anger at Conservative, Labour and Liberal MEPs voting to allow unused Scottish fishing quotas to be transferred to other EU countries.

The vote means that fishing fleets from around Europe, including Spain, which currently does not have access to Scottish quotas in the North Sea, could gain access to Scotland's historic fishing rights.

Commenting, Councillor Ian Gray said:

"I am pleased that the committee agreed to this approach. The Conservative, Liberal and Labour MEPs who voted for this clearly don't have the interests of the Scottish fishing industry at heart. We could now see our important fishing rights transferred away from local boats to countries without even a coastline in the North Sea.

"It's quite clear that nothing has changed since the bad old days of remote control of Scotland from London, and the Tories still regard the fishing industry as "expendable", as Ted Heath's Tory Government famously described it.

"I hope that this approach from Aberdeenshire Council will let those Unionist MEPs who would seek to jeopardise our fishing industry know that they will be called to account for their actions ."

  • The vote in the European Parliament was on proposed EU legislation on control and compliance in fisheries.
  • The vote included a text added by a Spanish MEP which allows the Commission to reallocate unused fishing quota during a year to other Member States (Amendment 41). Currently quotas within the EU are allocated to countries on the basis of their historic rights.
Records published after the vote show that whilst the SNP voted against the text, Scotland's other 5 MEPs (at that time) (2 Labour, 2 Tory and 1 LibDem) voted in favour.

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