‘Fishing policy post-Brexit must learn the right lessons from Cod Recovery Programme’ – Carmichael

Alistair Carmichael, MP for Orkney and Shetland, has called for an assurance from the UK Government that they will engage directly with the fishing industry itself in order to create “credible” policy after Britain has left the EU. Mr Carmichael asked the Government to adopt the “best examples” of fishing management from by the Cod Recovery Programme, following news on Wednesday that the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has accredited North Sea cod as a sustainable species once again.

The Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell MP, responded to Mr Carmichael’s question in the House of Commons by re-affirming the Government’s position on the Common Fisheries Policy.

Commenting, Alistair Carmichael said:

“I am pleased that the industry’s diligence and foresight in fighting for the sustainability of North Sea cod has been rewarded by today’s news.

“The Government must learn the right lessons from this success. Fishing policy can only be credible with fishermen when the decision-making process engages directly with the industry itself. That is partly why the recovery of cod stocks has evidently been successful.  

“The industry’s undoubted optimism for the future of fish stocks must not be lost in the crossfire of a fresh bout of constitutional wrangling. To create a sustainable post-Brexit fishing policy, the practical needs of the fishing industry must take precedence over squabbles about where legislative powers eventually lie.” 

The question, and Minister's response was:


Mr Alistair Carmichael (Orkney and Shetland)

What discussions he has had with representatives of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation on the Government’s policy on fishing after the UK leaves the EU.


The Secretary of State for Scotland (David Mundell)

It is perhaps remiss of me not to welcome new Members from Scotland and elsewhere to this House, in particular when I am answering a question from one of the potential Scottish Fathers of the House.

Since the vote to leave the EU last year, I have spoken regularly with the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, which I most recently met in Peterhead on 16 June. In our discussions I emphasised that we will take Scotland out of the failed common fisheries policy and extend control of our waters up to 200 nautical miles or the median line with nearby coastal states. 


Alistair Carmichael

I hope the Secretary of State will join me in welcoming the news today that the Marine Stewardship Council has again accredited North sea cod as a sustainable species. The cod recovery programme saw some of the best and worst examples of fisheries management. The best were the measures that came from the industry and had credibility with the industry. Will the Government look at the lessons of the cod recovery programme and take the best examples of fishery management to inform future policy?


David Mundell

I, too, absolutely welcome today’s announcement on cod. I confirm that we will look to the industry to help shape its future. One thing is clear: this Government will take Scotland and the UK out of the hated common fisheries policy, but the SNP Scottish Government would take us right back in.

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