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In brief for 13 May 2011

Fishing’s now “sexy”

 NORTHERN isles MP Alistair Carmichael has said that he is delighted the issue of fisheries management has become “politically sexy”, after a House of Commons debate on discards this week.

Calling for a root and branch review of European fisheries policy and greater industry involvement in management decisions, Mr Carmichael argued that environmental and economic interests could complement each other.

He said: “We need to have a management system that takes account of both the economic interests of the industry and the ecology of our seas. The existing EU Common Fisheries Policy does neither. Root and branch reform of the policy is required if the long term interests of the sector are to be protected.

“I am delighted that at last the issue of fisheries management seems to have become politically ‘sexy’ enough to get attention in the House of Commons from people who come from non-fishing communities.”

Below the line

SHETLAND solicitor Brian Inkster, based in Glasgow, has joined his colleagues who are spending five days living on just £1 a day to raise awareness and funds to tackle extreme poverty around the planet.

Mr Inkster said: “It has been a tough week. Careful planning is essential at the start of the challenge to make that £5 go as far as it possibly can. No snacks or treats all week.

“Porridge for breakfast, potato soup for lunch and cheap rice, pasta or couscous with root vegetables for dinner has been my staple diet for the week. It makes you appreciate the luxuries in life that we really have and take for granted on a daily basis.

“Joining the challenge gives you a better understanding of the challenges faced by people living in real poverty”.

More information can be found at and

Deep sea concerns

SCIENTISTS have called for more discussion about the ecological impact of deep sea drilling for oil and gas following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico a year ago.

Professor Monty Priede of the University of Aberdeen and Dr Henry Ruhl of the National Oceanography Centre have called for independent monitoring of deep sea exploration and exploitation using underwater monitoring equipment uploading real time images to the internet.

They say the European Commission and United Nations should push the issue and their proposals, published in the scientific journal Nature, have the backing of the General Assembly of the European Seas Observatory NETwork (ESONET).

Next week the Maritime & Coastguard Agency will be carrying out one of the biggest ever oil spill exercises in Aberdeen and Shetland as a response to the Gulf of Mexico disaster in April 2010.