Thursday, 29 November 2012

Fisheries Council

As the official statement said (in this case in the House of Lords but it is the same statement), the Agriculture and Fisheries Council met yesterday and today.

The second day [i.e. today, November 29] will be dedicated to fisheries issues. The Council will discuss a proposal on the fixing for 2013 and 2014 fishing opportunities for EU vessels for certain deep sea stocks, and the EU/Norway 2013 negotiations. There is an any other business point about the fixing of the total allowable catch (TAC) for Norway pout.

We await the official statement though not exactly with bated breath.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Nothing about the elephant in the room

It has become a sad necessity to keep referring to the elephant in the room whenever journalists of any description write long and often emotional articles about something political, economic and social without mentioning the really important aspect of the subject: the role of the European Union and its various policies.

The Common Fisheries Policy is such an elephant with numerous analyses and woeful lamentations about the fishing industry and the presence or absence of fish in the seas around these islands published or broadcast without a single thought given to the noxious and destructive policy.

These awesome pictures in the Daily Mail of fishing trawlers from Peterhead among other places are accompanied by an article that describes fairly the dangers and difficulties of fishermen's lives and looks at the gradual (or not so gradual) decline of fishing ports like Peterhead and Grimsby. Nowhere do we see any references to the most important cause of that decline: that dratted policy.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Why can't they make the logical step?

We cannot help agreeing with the anger expressed by Michael Fry in The Scotsman about the Common Fisheries Policy. It has been a disaster, he argues, throughout its history and Scotland with its fishermen has suffered. (As have England and Northern Ireland but The Scotsman is unlikely to mention that.) All Scottish politicians agree on this, no matter what party they are in but nothing much seems to happen, despite all the tough words.

So what is the answer? Raise the subject of reform once Scotland has voted for independence and has to rethink its position in relation to EU membership. That's it, ladies and gentlemen. The course of action that has produced no result so far needs to be tried again and made really tough. Good luck with that. How about reconsidering the need for a Common Fisheries Policy altogether?