Days at sea / CFP / Quota talks
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  1. #1
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    Default Days at sea / CFP / Quota talks

    http://www.fishnewseu.com/latest-new...ederation.html
    Quote Originally Posted by fishnewseu
    Tuesday, 03 February 2009 10:54

    THE nephrops sector are the big potential losers in plans to cut cod mortality by 25%.

    This was underlined by Scottish Fishermen's Federation chief executive Bertie Armstrong today in the wake of the Scottish Government announcement of what is effectively the continuation of a system which they claimed will allow the "majority" of fishing vessels to fish for the same time as they did last year.

    But Mr Armstrong warned today that the way the issue had been rolled out so far, the "aggrieved party" were the nephrops catching sector who this year were facing having only 50 days available to them in the first quarter, implying an annual loss of 80 days.

    The focus therefore was flawed and it had to be on those boats actually catching cod not on those who were not concentrating to any extent on the species. This in turn underlined the need for special focus on this issue during the consultation period on the issue which has kicked off.

    He went on: "While we in Scotland are a step ahead with a year's experience behind us of days-at-sea being managed from Edinburgh and not Brussels, we must not fail to recognise the stark reality that this year there is less available effort - or time at sea - to go round.

    "The initial basic allocation includes a very severe reduction, particularly for some sections of the fleet. The changes in gear and in fishing patterns required to recover some of those days back will make a very real difference to commercial viability.

    "The reason for these measures in the first place is to reduce - in a recovering stock - the total amount of cod removed from the sea. The Scottish industry has demonstrated a willingness to make this happen and will continue to do so. There will now be a period of consultation and the end result has to be a set of measures that will permit an industry that is already fishing sustainably to remain commercially sustainable as well."

    The call for boats either catching little or no cod to escape the effect of the draconian new rules has already been made by Scottish White Fish Producers' Association executive chairman Mike Park.

    Earlier details of the "enhanced scheme" designed to, as the Scottish Government put it, "reward Scotland's fishermen for their trailblazing conservation efforts" were announced.

    The Scottish Government said that "building on the success" of Scotland's pioneering Conservation Credits Scheme, 'Conservation Credits II' would allow skippers to top up their days fishing at sea in return for adopting further conservation measures.

    The scheme provides alternatives to the European Commission's proposal for a 25 per cent reduction in days at sea, giving "the majority" of Scottish vessels the opportunity to fish for the same number of days as they fished in 2008, they said.

    Skippers would be able to increase their number of days at sea by adopting conservation measures such as using prawn nets that allow cod to escape, using whitefish nets that allow smaller fish to escape and avoiding fishing in cod-conservation areas. The more conservation methods used the more days at sea can be topped up.

    During the first interim phase of 'Conservation Credits II', Scottish Government officials would work closely with the industry to fine tune the arrangements and then roll-out the full scheme from May 1.

    Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said:
    "We face big challenges this year as we step up our efforts to ensure sustainable fisheries and tackle discards. But Conservation Credits II will get us off to a flying start

    "The ground-breaking efforts of our fishermen under the previous scheme marked the beginning of a brave new approach to sustainable fishing in Scotland. It has rightly been heralded as the standard-bearer for the European fleet and embedded in the new EU Cod Recovery Plan. We have earned the right to determine ourselves the arrangements that will apply to our own fleet.

    "Conservation Credits II builds on that success. It takes our conservation measures to the next level. Given the current economic climate, I am particularly pleased that we have with the sector found ways to avoid the hugely damaging 25 per cent cut in days at sea.

    "Our industry has demonstrated responsible leadership when it comes to conservation measures, which saw us gaining a crucial deal in Brussels to protect our West Coast fishery. I am confident our fishermen will once again rise to the next challenge, and we will be with them every step of the way."

    The 2009 Conservation Credits Scheme will apply to all Scottish fishing vessels and aims to reduce cod mortality by 25 per cent this year.

    The scheme also expands the innovative Real-Time Closures scheme on which Scotland led last autumn, protecting cod where they aggregate in the North Sea. Compliance with the closures will be mandatory in 2009, and the new programme also includes voluntary avoidance areas, which will be rewarded with additional days to be spent at sea.

    Effort management rules had to be in force by February 1, and interim arrangements are "broadly in line" in line with the elements of the scheme to be rolled out from May.

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    Default UK Fisheries Minister tells Scotland: You are out of line

    http://www.fishnewseu.com/latest-new...t-of-line.html
    Quote Originally Posted by fishneseu
    Wednesday, 25 February 2009 13:42
    A UK Minister has effectively told Scotland’s administration that it has got too big for its boots in terms of its fish quota management and licensing plans and warned the Holyrood Government that its proposals have the potential to undermine the UK’s voice in Europe.

    In a strong-worded letter, UK Fisheries Minister Huw Irranca-Davies has told Scottish Fisheries Minister Richard Lochhead that much of what Scotland is proposing is “outside the competence” of the Scottish administration.

    The Whitehall-based Minister also makes it plain that Westminster will override controversial plans to stop Scottish vessels registering to another administration and taking their fixed quota allocation units (FQAs) with them.

    For Mr Irranca-Davies pledges that if any Scottish vessel wants to re-register from Scotland to England, the UK fisheries department will issue it with a licence and transfer the associated fixed quota allocations onto that licence in clear defiance of Scottish policy to restrict this kind of transfer.

    The Scottish Government this week published an interim report setting out how a Scottish quota and licensing system for the fishing industry could be implemented.

    The Scottish plan is to phase in new management arrangements during 2009, with a complete system fully introduced and up and running early next year. The new arrangements are, say the Scottish Government designed to simplify licensing so that the cost to businesses is reduced; safeguard traditional fishing rights for today's fishermen and for future generations; ensure Scottish fishermen get their fair share of quota and that quotas are only held by businesses who fish them and encourage new blood into the industry

    But in his no-nonsense letter to the Scottish Minister, Mr Irranca-Davies says that he is “disappointed” that the Scottish administration has rejected an approach that would have seen all administrations in the UK working together in the best interests of the UK fishing fleets and the communities that depend upon their economic viability.

    “Instead, you have decided to press ahead with your unilateral proposals for a separate quota management and licensing system for Scotland,” he says.

    But the right way forward, the Minister goes on, is for all four UK administrations to discuss quota reform together in the context of common fisheries negotiations.

    “The imminent review of the Common Fisheries Policy offers a real opportunity to make sure we develop arrangements that reflect the needs of all administrations, something which is particularly important given issues such as quota ownership and access rights for artisanal fleets and vulnerable communities will form part of the review.

    “Your proposals also have the potential to undermine the effective joint working that underpins the UK voice in Europe.”

    Mr Irranca-Davies adds that the Scottish plans are also contrary to the interests of large sections of the UK fishing industry and inevitably, such action will result in continued uncertainty for the industry at a time when they are facing significant challenges.

    Meanwhile on Scotland’s plans to keep “Scottish” fish quota within Scotland Mr Irranca–Davies asserts:

    “Free movement of vessels and quota throughout the UK is a fundamental part of the devolution settlement,

    “I want fishermen across the UK to have clarity and reassurance about the business environment they are operating in.

    “To that end, I must make it clear the UK Government does not recognise permanent Scottish quota as set out in your latest proposals. My position on the Scottish moratorium is unchanged-it is illegal in that it seeks to prevent Scottish vessels re-registering to another fisheries administration and taking their FQA units with them.

    “As such, if any Scottish vessel chooses to re-register from Scotland to England, we will issue them with a licence and transfer the associated FQAs onto that licence, thereby ensuring they are free to continue to operate their business without hindrance.”

    George MacRae, the secretary of the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association, said today that the Westminster position was not a surprise. The association had made strong representations for some time to Holyrood, seeking confirmation that their proposals in all respects, including the moratorium, were legal and beyond successful legal challenge.

    Although they were initially given this assurance, the latest position they had been given is that it appears the Scottish Government recognises that annual quota allocated from the EU can be “top sliced” if the Westminster Government decides to allocate it elsewhere in the country

    This leaves little doubt that that overall control of UK quota allocated from Brussels remains with Westminster.

    The association had voiced their concerns on this issue to the Scottish Government and were also seeking assurances on the legal status of their proposals.

    “We have also asked the Scottish Government for a meeting to address specific issues because our fishermen are entitled to know with certainty what their legal position is.”

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    Quota row is unwelcome distraction, says Deas

    http://www.fishnewseu.com/latest-new...says-deas.html
    Quote Originally Posted by fishneseu
    Thursday, 26 February 2009 14:38

    A UK Minister's response this week to Scotland's planned separate quota management and licensing regime was "proportionate and measured," a leading UK industry figure maintained today.

    But Barrie Deas, the chief executive of the York-based National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations said an issue which has seen UK Fisheries Minister Huw Irranca-Davies tell his Scottish counterpart that much of the action planned by Scotland's administration is outside their competence, is proving to be a "huge and unnecessary" distraction at a time when key issues in Europe are crying out for resolution.

    "There are many other things we should be working together on," he said.

    Mr Deas said his organisation have always said that there are things in the original paper setting out Scotland's proposals which could be positive and which they could support.

    However there were other elements which were probably illegal and which certainly went beyond the boundaries of the current devolution settlement.

    But also, there was the fundamental problem of having two separate quota management regimes in one member state.

    He felt Mr Irranca-Davies's response to Scottish Fisheries Minister Richard Lochhead this week was "proportionate, measured and very clear" and Mr Deas went on:

    "The door is therefore open to work on a multilateral basis to approve a UK quota management system and more importantly, to present a united position within Europe."

    Mr Deas said the disagreement between both sides of the Border represented a "huge and unnecessary distraction" at a time when many other issues were crying out for satisfactory resolution including Common Fisheries Policy reform and the days-at-sea regime.

    "This is an unnecessary distraction both for officials and for the industry...we must work together and not be in a position where people are watching their backs and fighting a rearguard action in an internal context."

    Meanwhile Mr Deas said there was definite concern throughout Europe over a "softening" of fish prices, especially for top-end species.

    At a recent meeting of the North Sea Regional Advisory Council, concern over fish prices was voiced and the Dutch were particularly concerned about "desperate" plaice prices.

    But Mr Deas said he felt that the prices issue went beyond simply blaming Icelandic imports to the UK for example and he felt there was a more general softening of prices in response to the recession.

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    Scotland hits back at English attack on quota plan

    http://www.fishnewseu.com/latest-new...uota-plan.html
    Quote Originally Posted by fishneseu
    Wednesday, 25 February 2009 16:54

    A SPOKESMAN for Scotland’s Fisheries Minister said tonight that fishermen will be “surprised to hear” that UK Fisheries Ministry Defra wants to stop Scotland protecting the future of its fishing communities.

    He was responding to scathing criticism from UK Fisheries Minister Huw Irranca-Davies of the Scottish Government’s plans for a separate quota and licensing system for Scotland which Mr Irranca-Davies claims has the potential to undermine the UK’s voice in Europe.

    As reported today on fishnewseu.com the UK Minister maintains that much of the unilateral action proposed by the Scottish Government is outside their competence and a plan to stop Scottish vessels re-registering with another fisheries administration and taking their fixed quota allocation units with them is illegal, a proposal which Defra would overrule if a vessel wanted to re-register in England.

    However a spokesman for Scottish Minister Richard Lochhead said tonight:

    " For many years, the current Scottish Government and previous administrations have made strenuous efforts to engage Defra to help modernise fisheries management and licensing, which the industry has been calling for.

    “It is, therefore, a surprise and a great pity to hear that Defra are now taking such an unhelpful stance and want to spend several more years skirting around the issues. Defra would prefer to distribute their letter to the media and pick public fights.

    "Many fishermen will be surprised to hear that that Defra want to stop Scotland protecting the future of our fishing communities.

    "Fisheries licensing and management is a devolved issue. To fish in Scottish waters, vessels require a licence from the Scottish Government and we are entitled to attach conditions that protect Scotland's interests.

    " Our proposals that have widespread support are about protecting Scotland's economy and fishing opportunities for active fishermen and future generations. We want to see fishing opportunities for our waters retained in Scotland and ensure they are in the hands of active rather than non-active interests.

    " It is right and proper that Scottish fishing communities can continue to benefit from the rich fishing grounds off our shores, and the Scottish Government is consulting on how this can be best achieved.

    " Our proposals will offer active fishermen security for the long term and that can only be a good thing for the industry.”

  5. #5
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    Safeguarding fishing communities

    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fulls...mmunities.html
    Quote Originally Posted by fishupdate
    An interim report setting out how a Scottish quota and licensing system for the fishing industry could be implemented has been published.

    The Scottish Government plan to phase in new management arrangements during 2009, with a complete system fully introduced and up and running early next year.

    The new arrangements are designed to:

    * Simplify licensing so that the cost to businesses is reduced

    * Safeguard traditional fishing rights for today's fishermen and for future generations

    * Ensure Scottish fishermen get their fair share of quota and that quotas are only held by businesses who fish them

    * Encourage new blood into the industry

    Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

    "Fishing rights such as quotas are an asset of national importance to Scotland and the lifeblood of many of our coastal communities. If we are to have a vibrant, prosperous fishing industry in the future we must put in place arrangements that help safeguard those fishing rights.

    "This is an issue of utmost importance to me and I am committed to implementing a package of business-friendly management measures. The consultation has shown that there is also a strong level of support from the industry, although as expected with such a diverse range of interests there were differences of opinion.

    "I have given careful consideration to the consultation responses. We have also held constructive discussions with other parts of the UK. This has been a lengthy process, not least because in some instances alternative measures were proposed, but I am sure that these proposals strike the right balance."

    Today's interim report sets out the Scottish Government's response to the recent consultation on quota management and licensing and also seeks views on some of the issues raised by stakeholders.

    Following a short period of further consultation, which ends on March 24, measures to be adopted under a Scottish quota and licensing system will then be set out in a final report. In the meantime, work will begin shortly on the reform of producer organisations, measures to encourage new entrants into the fishing industry and a Scottish licensing system review.

  6. #6

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    i wonder which hero said this direct quote?

    "Fisheries licensing and management is a devolved issue. To fish in Scottish waters, vessels require a licence from the Scottish Government and we are entitled to attach conditions that protect Scotland's interests."

    what utter rubbish, at present a UK fishing licence allows all boats to fish in 'SCOTTISH' waters as this person puts it. this is a mistake from this spokesman. i think they need to go and learn their job before they say such utter rubbish.

    im getting concerned now that English, Welsh, Northern Irish and Scottish vessels end up being banned from each others waters by people in suits with a quick stroke of their pens. We have seen the start of this with the rwo tier licensing scheme introduced by DEFRA, now with IFGs at advanced stages this seems to be the aim of the MARINE DIRECTORATE of Scotland, to prevent other UK licences working Scottish waters

  7. #7
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    This is what happens when politicians ( of ALL parties , I am vehemently against ALL parties as they have never done anything for the fishermen of this country ) think they can do what they like regardless of whether or not they are legally allowed to do so. This has caused a lot of grief and trouble since this was announced between the Scottish "parliament" ( glorified council office I think ) and the rest of the UK and will only play right into the hands of the EU Commission who will do what ever they can to cut the fleet even more now.

    Right who's got an old coaster ( refuse to use an old fishing boat ) , lets fill it with ALL elected politicians from the UK and Ireland , tow it out into the middle of the Atlantic and sink the bloody thing !!!!

  8. #8

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    im feart that it would not be a big enough coaster, and that sinking it there would not be deep enough
    plus, in my experience, S**** floats

  9. #9
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    Default Federation say UK’s law officers must sort out quota and licensing row

    http://www.fishnewseu.com/latest-new...nsing-row.html

    Quote Originally Posted by fishnewseu
    Monday, 02 March 2009 12:54

    THE Scottish Fishermen's Federation is to ask the UK and Scottish Governments for a joint legal opinion on controversial Scottish quota and licensing proposals, it emerged today.

    Federation chief executive Bertie Armstrong said that they had seen UK Fisheries Minister Huw Irranca-Davies's strongly-worded challenge to Scotland's proposals and they had also seen the response from the Holyrood Government.

    Now the fishermen's federation felt they had no alternative but to ask the respective governments for a joint opinion from the law officers of both Scotland and England as to the legality of what Scotland is proposing.

    Mr Irranca-Davies last week told Scottish Fisheries Minister Richard Lochhead that "much of the unilateral action" Scotland plans is outwith the Scottish Government's competence and contrary to the interests of "large sections" of the UK fishing industry.

    The UK Minister said specifically that Scotland's plan to stop vessels from registering with another fisheries administration and taking their fixed quota allocations with them was illegal.

    The Whitehall-based Minister said that he would defy this and if any Scottish vessel chose to re-register from Scotland to England, the UK fisheries Ministry Defra would issue it with a licence and transfer the associated fixed quota allocations onto that licence, ensuring that the vessel in question is free to continue to operate their business without hindrance.

    The Scottish administration reacted to that by saying that Scotland is perfectly entitled to attach whatever conditions it likes to its licences.

    A spokesman for Mr Lochhead added that many fishermen would be surprised to hear that that Defra wants to stop Scotland "protecting the future of our fishing communities."

    He added that fisheries licensing and management is a devolved issue. "To fish in Scottish waters, vessels require a licence from the Scottish Government and we are entitled to attach conditions that protect Scotland's interests," he contended.

    But today Mr Armstrong said "We are about to write to both the UK and Scottish Governments to ask for a joint legal opinion because we have one government saying black and the other saying white which means it is impossible to form a sensible view as to what should be supported or not supported.

    "In our view that is an intolerable situation."

    Mr Armstrong said that apart from anything else, the background to this issue is one of the most difficult times in recent memory. They had the economic conditions of a world wide recession and in a fisheries context they had crucial discussions on effort control which required co-ordination both North and South of the border.

    And he agreed that a central issue was the need for definition of "Scottish" quota.

    "What we want is firm and proper legal opinion on a joint basis from the law officers of Scotland and England to settle this issue. That is absolutely crucial.

    "We cannot have the support of the industry being sought for one view or another if we do not know its legality.

    "Basically we need to know what the truth of the matter is."

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    Quota and licensing issue moves to Scottish Parliament as MSP demands answers

    http://www.fishnewseu.com/latest-new...s-answers.html
    Quote Originally Posted by fishnewseu
    Tuesday, 03 March 2009 18:24

    AN MSP has tabled three questions in the Scottish Parliament in a bid to clarify the legal status of the Scottish Government’s controversial fish quota and licensing proposals, it emerged tonight .

    Commenting on the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation’s request for a joint UK-Scottish opinion on the legality of the Scottish Government’s proposals on fish quota and licence provisions, Scottish Liberal Democrat Rural Affairs spokesperson Liam McArthur said that his party have been questioning the legality of some of the Scottish administration’s proposals since they emerged last year.

    He went on :"The SNP have repeatedly failed to address this issue. Having made no headway in representations behind the scenes, it has now reached the point where the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) have felt it necessary to call for a joint legal opinion on behalf of both Governments.

    "It is not in the interests of the Scottish fishing industry for it to be treated like a political football by either the UK or Scottish Government. Ministers in both Edinburgh and London must now respond positively and urgently to this call from the SFF."

    Mr McArthur has tabled three questions in the Scottish Parliament in response to the SFF's call:

    They are:

    To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has discussed the legality of the Scottish Executive’s proposals on fishing quotas and licences with Her Majesty’s Government, whether a joint position was agreed and, if so, what the joint position was.

    To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is prepared to accede to the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation request for a joint legal opinion be given by the Scottish and UK Law Officers on the legality of the Scottish Executive’s proposals on fishing quotas and licences.

    To ask the Scottish Executive what advice it has obtained on the legality of its proposals on fishing quotas and licences and whether it will make the advice public.
    Scottish Government accused of “window dressing” over catch plans

    http://www.fishnewseu.com/latest-new...tch-plans.html
    Quote Originally Posted by fishnewseu
    Tuesday, 03 March 2009 12:04

    THE Scottish Government's controversial quota and licensing plans have more to do with "window dressing" than the real issues facing the fishing industry.

    This has been hammered home by the York-based National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations (NFFO) as a follow up to last week's criticism by the NFFO's chief executive Barrie Deas that the Scottish plans are proving to be a "huge and unnecessary" distraction at a time when key issues in Europe are crying out for resolution.

    UK Fisheries Minister Huw Irranca-Davies has already told his Scottish counterpart Richard Lochhead that that much of the action planned by Scotland's administration is outside their competence and now on their own website, the NFFO say again that while the Scottish proposals contain much that the NFFO could support they also include provisions to tag "Scottish" quota and attach additional Scottish economic link requirements to any quota subsequently sold to non-Scottish vessels.

    "This would undermine the free movement of quota and licences within the UK that has been a fundamental feature of the UK quota arrangements to date," the federation contend.

    The NFFO go on:

    "Despite withering criticism from the NFFO, and a large body of opposition from within the Scottish industry, the SNP-led minority administration in Edinburgh has retained the divisive and almost certainly illegal, economic link requirement. At heart, this is a politically driven initiative, more to do with window dressing than the real substantive issues confronting the UK fishing industry."

    But In two paragraphs of a short letter to Richard Lochhead, Huw Irranca-Davies had effectively punctured the Scottish economic link requirements by making it plain that the UK Government does not recognise permanent Scottish quota as set out in the latest Scottish proposals and that it was illegal to seek to prevent Scottish vessels re-registering to another fisheries administration and taking their fixed quota allocation units (FQAs) with them.

    The NFFO added that the UK Minister's response had been measured, decisive - and very reassuring for those vessel operators who would have potentially been affected by the Scottish economic link requirements. "Many NFFO member vessels are registered in Scotland, land into Scottish ports and are members of Scottish producer organisations. The Minister's commitment provides them with a clear assurance that the Scottish administration's protectionist measures can be circumvented by re-registration.

    "The Scottish Administration's decision to proceed on a course that will inevitably put it in conflict with the UK Minister is of course, a political tactic that has nothing to do with the fishing industry and its fortunes. It is, however, of the utmost concern that ministers, officials and industry representatives will now be focused on this internecine struggle rather than the real issues confronting the industry - days at sea restrictions, a new control regulation, marine conservation zones and the 2012 reform of the CFP to mention a few. This will be a major distraction, a huge own goal for the UK, that can only damage the industry's interests."

    Earlier this week, the Scottish Fishermen's Federation said they were asking both the Westminster and Holyrood administrations for a legality ruling on the Scottish proposals drawn up jointly by Scottish and English government law officers.

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