Floundering fishing policy

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The Independent Online
From Mr M. P. Strauss Sir: You are quite right in calling in today's leading article "Not enough fish in the sea" (2 January) for more effective policing of the Common Fishing Policy by an authority independent of governments. Fishermen have to be convinced that necessarily restrictive conservation rules are implemented evenly across the EU. As long as enforcement methods continue to differ significantly, fishermen will flout the rules, believing those in other member states are dealt with less severely.

What is required is not so much the creation of a new authority - a European Union fishery inspection service already exists. But instead of merely requiring governments to adopt appropriate measures to ensure the effectiveness of a conservation policy, strict and effective rules should set out in framework legislation which could be applied uniformly throughout the Union.

Adequate control also requires that the inspection services have sufficient resources. This is not at present the case.

Yours faithfully, M. P. STRAUSS European Communities Economic and Social Committee Brussels 2 January