Alyn Smith Backs WWF's More Fish Campaign

22 October 2011

Alyn Smith MEP today publicly gave his backing to WWF’s More Fish campaign, which is demanding real and effective reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Alyn met with Eva Groeneveld from WWF Scotland at the SNP Annual Conference in Inverness to talk about the problems associated with the CFP and to discuss possible resolutions to them.

Fisheries make up a substantial part of the Scottish coastal economy, so it is in our interests to ensure that the reform of the CFP improves the health of Scottish seas and fish stocks, guaranteeing a long term future for the communities that depend on them.

Momentum is building for reform of the CFP, with the Commission’s proposals published on 13 July and MEPs debating the reform package in the Autumn and Spring 2012.

Alyn said:

"I fully support WWF Scotland’s More Fish Campaign. It is crucial that we are all over the CFP reforms as they come forward as this is an area of EU policy which truly does directly impact upon Scotland. We have witnessed the disastrous effects that the inadequate CFP has had on our fish stocks and we must do everything in our power to reverse this. The SNP have been long opposed to a centralised CFP and reform is now a matter of urgency in order to return power to Europe’s fishing nations.

"I am glad to see Scotland leading the way on this and I support my SNP colleagues in their efforts to guarantee sustainable fisheries management and to help our fishing communities."

Dr Richard Dixon, Director of WWF Scotland said:

"Fishing plays an important role in Scotland’s economy so it is crucial we safeguard its future. Our More Fish campaign aims to fix the broken CFP so everyone will benefit from healthy fish stocks in the longer term - from fishermen and the local communities that depend on healthy seas to the people that enjoy eating fish. Although Scotland is making strides in fisheries management under the Scottish Conservation Credit Scheme, 70% of European fish stocks are still overfished, iconic species are disappearing and coastal communities are being run down. We can fix this problem if there is the political will to do so. The more people that sign our petition, the stronger the message being sent to the European Parliament to take reforming fisheries seriously."

WWF’s More Fish Campaign http://www.wwfscotland.org.uk/morefish