Minister vows to fight EU bid to close fishing grounds

Minister vows to fight EU bid to close fishing grounds
The Scotsman – Edinburgh,Scotland,UK

Minister vows to fight EU bid to close fishing grounds

NICOLA SMITH IN BRUSSELS

ROSS Finnie, the Scottish fisheries minister, has pledged to fight plans by the European Commission to close entire fishing grounds in the North Sea at keynote talks in Brussels this week.

Arriving in Brussels yesterday with Ben Bradshaw, his Westminster counterpart, Mr Finnie accused the EU of taking “Draconian” and “disproportionate” measures against Scottish fishermen.

In their first meeting with commission officials, the British ministers argued that the severe cod-recovery plan put in place two years ago should be given time to take effect.

Earlier this month, Brussels mooted a plan to close parts of the North and Irish seas and areas off western Scotland where 40 per cent of EU cod are caught. If the closures went ahead, it would “have a devastating effect on the Scottish white-fish fleet,” warned Mr Bradshaw.
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