SNP raise whale hunting concerns in Norwegian Parliament scrapping fisheries policy could bring Norway into EU

21 June 2006
SNP Europe spokesman Alyn Smith, on a delegation to the Norwegian Parliament in Oslo has spoken out on the issue of Whale Hunting and shared concerns over the CFP with Norwegian parliamentarians.

Mr Smith is meeting Norwegian politicians and representatives of the Norwegian Saami community in the far north to discuss EU policies. The discussion on whaling came a day after the International Whaling Commission decided, by one vote to endorse the eventual return of commercial Whaling.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Smith said:

"Whaling is an emotive issue globally, and divides opinion all over the world. Today I was able to express the massive reservations people in Scotland have about the resumption of commercial whaling.

"The Norwegians feel the Whale cull is useful and that they kill no where near the number they are allowed. In which case I see no reason to change from restricted culling for science to commercial whaling.

"If the Norwegians are not currently killing as many whales as they are allowed perhaps the numbers could be reduced - especially as it does not appear to be a very significant issue in Norway.

"Discussing fisheries the Norwegians were incredibly sceptical of the EU's disastrous Common Fisheries Policy. I believe and it was made clear to me yesterday that it would be easier for Norway to consider EU membership if the CFP was scrapped. I'm sure the fishing industry across Scotland could support that view.

"The SNP has long been opposed root and branch to this disastrous Common Policy and I was pleased to hear such support for our view in such a fellow fisheries intensive nation.

"There are many areas of common concern between Scotland and Norway, that has been made even clearer to me by this visit and we must build on these relations. Scotland could learn a great deal from Norway on fisheries, energy and international relations to name just a few. I look forward to welcoming my Norwegian colleagues to Scotland in the future."