Cook to attend fishing meetings

eyemouth councillor Michael Cook is to continue attending meetings of a European fisheries group of which he is vice president, although two central Borders councillors wanted to restrict the cost of sending both the councillor and a council officer to a maximum of £1,000.

The council is a member of the European Conference of Peripheral and Maritime Regions (CPMR) which takes an active role in lobbying on regional policy, agriculture and fisheries issues in Europe.

At last week’s council meeting councillors were told: “The CPMR has a key role in shaping the future of the Common Fisheries Policy. It is important to influence the development of the new EU fisheries policy as this will impact directly on the local fishing industry.

“Recent difficulties within the Scottish fisheries sector are well known - particularly the effects of high fuel prices and reduction in quota and fishing effort.

“These issues are impacting heavily on fishing dependent communities in Eyemouth and the Berwickshire coast.

“This is now a critical time with the debate on key issues such as the introduction of regional decision making, how to deal with discards, and the future role of EU subsidies are still very much open.

“It is important that the reform takes account of the needs of small scale fleets and dependent fishing communities.”

Councillors approved Mr Cook’s attendance.