Anglers at European Table
Nov 11,2007 00:00
Scottish anglers attend European conference and EU Parliamentary dinner
Denis Kelly and Ian Burrett have just returned from Brussels where they attended a conference organized by the Shark Alliance - a coalition of more than forty conservation, fishing, diving, and scientific organisations dedicated to improving European Union shark fishing policies.
The Alliance used the opportunity to call on the Commission to propose that the European Council of Fisheries Ministers act in December to bring an end to unsustainable fisheries for endangered spurdog and porbeagle sharks.
Scottish Charter skipper Ian Burrett said “The whole trip was a totally inspiring occasion for Denis and I in the company of world wide experts in shark conservation."
Along with several other key members of the Shark Alliance, Ian was invited to an EU Parliamentary dinner in Brussels, chaired by Scottish MEP, Struan Stevenson. The dinner was attended by member state permanent attaches and officers from the EU fisheries commission.
Along with Struan Stevenson, Scotland was well represented by Ian Hudghton MEP and representatives for Elspeth Attwooll and Catherine Stihler.
Who would have thought just a few years ago that Sea Anglers would be welcomed at the very highest level?”
Struan Stevenson Scottish MEP has now become the Shark Alliance champion and is doing all he can to further the calls for EU shark management.
The Commission confirmed at the dinner that they would be starting on the Shark European Community Action Plan (CPOA) next year.
Ian then went on to say, “The following day Denis and I attended the conference where we met with shark conservation groups from all over Europe and listened to presentations from the likes of American Sonya Fordham who has won International awards for her works with sharks.
We have tried to get our Scottish government to bring in legislation to protect our native sharks. All scientific advice shows these sharks are critically endangered. If they won’t protect them hopefully the EU commission will.
Advocate’s activities culminated in a meeting on Thursday with European Commission officials, to deliver more than 20,000 petitions collected from concerned citizens during last month’s “European Shark Week.”
The petitions called for a sound European Union (EU) plan to protect endangered shark species and limit shark fishing.
The large number of signatures and the diverse delegation to the meeting demonstrate widespread support within Europe for the conservation of sharks.
It may be of interest to note that the efforts of SOS, SSACN & SACN(Scotland) by emails letters and personal meetings with MSPs has had some impact in that a motion was raised in the Scottish Parliament calling for the total ban on shark finning in the EU. So far this motion is attracting cross party support..