14 AUGUST 2004, Page 26

We need the CFP

From Ben Bradshaw MP Sir: I was surprised that my Conservative shadow, Owen Paterson, in his otherwise admirable review of the excellent book on fishing by the Telegraph's environment editor Charles Clover (Books, 31 July), tried to co-opt Clover to the Tory cause of with drawal from the Common Fisheries Policy, Clover makes no such recommendation. In fact, he points out that fish do not respect invisible lines in the sea, that managing their stocks requires co-operation among coastal states, and that if the CFP did not exist something rather like it would have to be invented.

His book contains sensible and practical suggestions as to how fisheries management can be improved, many of which are reflected in the Prime Minister's recent strategy report. Withdrawal from the CFP, even if it were possible without leaving the EU as a whole, is not one of them.

Ben Bradshaw

Fisheries minister, Defra, London SW1