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White-fish Vessels

Part of Question Time — Scottish Executive — Environment and Rural Development – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:00 pm on 18th November 2004.

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Photo of Ross Finnie Ross Finnie Liberal Democrat 2:00 pm, 18th November 2004

The member refers, properly, to the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea advice, which is supported by the raw data. He will be aware that—as is the case every year—the Commission's Scientific and Technical Committee reviews those raw data to arrive at recommendations to the Commission for the purpose of the Commission coming forward with positive proposals. I am always reluctant to draw conclusions before we have been through at least the second process and have had the benefit of the Scientific and Technical Committee's appraisal of those raw data. I am therefore not in a position to draw a conclusion. However, I understand that, in the next day or two, the review of the data will be available to us all, and that is the point at which we will start to formulate a view on how to proceed.

On whether other issues are in play, Fisheries Research Services in Aberdeen is aware that that is the case and that those factors must be taken into account. It is not a question of singling out Scottish fishermen, and I will be anxious to ensure that there are no moves in that direction in the December council.