Big Euro-fisheries debate at Waterside

Members of the European Parliament will be among those debating the current Common Fisheries Policy at Peterhead’s Waterside Inn later this week.

From 6pm till 7.30pm on Friday, local people are being invited to attend the free question time and debate.

Last year, the European Commission published proposals for Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. During 2012, these proposals will be discussed in the European Parliament and by EU Governments.

It is the first time that the European Parliament has had decision-making rights over EU fisheries policy. Important votes will take place in the coming weeks and months.

A panel of MEPs will be debating the key issues and answering questions from the audience.

Among them will be Chris Davies MEP, European Liberal Democrat environment spokesman, local MEP Ian Hudghton who is a Member of the European Parliament Fisheries Committee, Shadow Fisheries Minister Fiona O’Donnell MP, and Struan Stevenson MEP, senior vice-president of the European Parliament Fisheries Committee.

Chairman for the evening’s debate will be Colin Wight of BBC Scotland. The event is free and open to all, but advance registration is required. To register email: epedinburgh@europarl.europa.eu or call: 0131 557 78 66.

Meanwhile, a new partnership to support research that delivers more sustainable and effective fisheries has been created, backed by £150,000 from the Scottish Government. The Fishing Industry Science Alliance (FISA) will decide on funding applications for projects that further scientific knowledge of Scottish fisheries – including studies into uses of new types of fishing gear, information gathering where stock data is poor, and developing sustainable catch strategies for inshore fishing.

It will be overseen by the Fisheries Management and Conservation Group, the government-industry initiative launched in 2011.