Petition — Fisheries

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:38 am on 15 October 2004.

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Photo of Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Parliamentary Leader (Westminster), Spokesperson (Constitutional Affairs; Treasury), Leader, Scottish National Party 9:38, 15 October 2004

It is with great pleasure that I present the petition of Mrs. Carol MacDonald of the Cod Crusaders' community campaign.

The material allegations in the petition are as follows: first, it represents the ongoing national petition, which currently has gathered 111,000 signatures from the fishing communities of Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales; secondly, it marks the day when my Fisheries Jurisdiction Bill will not be considered in the House through lack of time, disgracefully, but will be re-presented in the new Session, so forcing a debate on a vital issue; thirdly, the petition comes immediately after the European Commissioner has made it clear that the new regional advisory committees will have no management role over fisheries, and therefore will be unable to improve the situation of our fishing communities; fourthly and finally, it comes after the Government have failed to take the opportunity of renegotiations on the European constitution to improve the situation of our fishing communities, following on from previous Conservative Governments who considered these communities to be "expendable" in terms of Britain's wider European interests.

The petition reads:

The petition of the Cod Crusaders' Community campaign declares that the European Union common fisheries policy has failed to conserve fish stocks and that it has caused untold hardship for fishermen and their local communities . . . The policy has proved ineffective and inadequate in the conservation and management of fish resources, has resulted in bankruptcies, the uprooting of individuals and families, and the destruction of thriving communities with centuries-old Cultural traditions and Communal lives.

There should be an obligation to the . . . future generations and therefore assurances should be made to safeguard the fishing industry for our children to follow in the steps of their forefathers.

The petitioners therefore request that the house of commons urge the Government to restore . . . Sovereign Waters to National Control and free them from European bureaucracy.

And the petitioners remain, etc.

To lie upon the Table.