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Thread: The Real Fish Fight - Support Our Fishing Communities

  1. #591
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    Immediate Fish Discards Ban May Destabilise Marine Ecosystems

    http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/...ne-ecosystems/

  2. #592
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    http://nffo.org.uk/news/new-eu-techn...on-regime.html

    New EU Technical Conservation Regime

    The Commission has recently adopted its long-awaited proposal for a new Technical Conservation Framework Regulation. This will replace the long-lasting but unloved, and frankly ineffectual, existing regulation (EU 750/98) along with a number of subsidiary regulations.

    The Commission’s explicit aim is to usher in a radically different approach to selectivity that is fully aligned with the other elements of the reformed CFP. The new approach is in itself a recognition that the previous regulation failed at a number of levels. Prescriptive micromanagement, through blanket top-down rules, has not delivered improvements in selectivity and exploitation patterns.

    Two previous attempts to replace the Technical Conservation Regulation stalled, even though it has been the best example of all that has been wrong with the CFP. The second attempt was a genuine attempt to simplify and regionalise decision making in the area of technical rules; but prior to the 2013 reform, there was no legal basis to shift decision making away from the Council of Ministers, other than by delegating it to the Commission – and such was the lack of trust in the Commission that no member state felt inclined to do that. The 2013 reform with the enhanced role for policy formulation at a regional seas level provides a new legal base.

    New Proposal

    The main features of the new approach are:

    ⦁ A policy adapted to policy objectives laid down in the CFP

    ⦁ A shift away from complex, prescriptive rules towards decentralised measures

    ⦁ A framework that is open to bottom-up approaches, avoiding the need for co-decision on detailed technical rules

    ⦁ Easily and speedily adaptable rules that can cope with a rapidly changing world

    ⦁ Measures that are more adapted to local conditions

    ⦁ A means to move progressively towards more selective fishing through continuous and gradual improvement

    ⦁ A focus on outcomes (results based management)

    Framework

    ⦁ Above all, the new approach involves a change in governance.

    ⦁ A conscious decision was made not to use the new regulation to impose new selectivity requirements – in terms of immediate impact therefore, the new proposal represents the status quo. Incrementally, additional measures will be added through regional initiatives over time

    ⦁ The proposal integrates the environmental objectives that are already in the CFP

    ⦁ A number of basic rules are included in the proposal but the idea is that these would be modified over time through a bottom-up approach in which member state, working together collaboratively at regional seas level, would be the main drivers

    ⦁ As it is compulsory for member states to consult the relevant advisory council, it is expected that the ACs will become important contributors to the evolution of the technical measures regime over time. However there is no guarantee about this and we will have to see how it plays in practice, including whether member states, on the advice of the ACs put certain technical measures into their Joint Recommendations for discard plans

    Elements

    1. Horizontal and permanent measures, with wide coverage and applicable to everyone. These measures are considered absolutely necessary and uncontroversial (examples given were the ban on the use of explosives for fishing and the prohibition on catching basking sharks)

    2. Objectives will be set for the first time. For example in due course there may be rules which limit the catch of undersized fish to a certain percentage, although the means of meeting that requirement will not be specified; it will be for vessels and perhaps regional member states to decide how this is to be achieved

    3. Simplification: new ways of expressing mesh sizes that avoid catch composition rules will be adopted, using simpler language

    4. Elimination of a number of closed areas generated in the past by the CFP but which have no coherent justification; this will not include closed areas generated by other areas of European legislation such as the requirements of the Marine Strategy Framework Regulation/Habitats Directive

    5. Regionalised measures contained in a number of specific annexes; these are the measures that will be built on over time through regional bottom up initiatives

    Drift Net Ban

    The proposal provides definitive confirmation that the Commission have dropped its misconceived proposal to apply a blanket ban on small-scale drift nets. This has been a major embarrassment to the Commission; reflecting a complete lack of homework and the previous Commissioner’s intemperate personality. If a prohibition on a specific drift net fishery is considered necessary, it will now be dealt with at regional seas, not EU level. This should act as a brake on any repeat.

    Co-decision

    Even at the level of a proposal, this new framework represents a compromise within the Commission. The purity of a vision of wholly a regionalised, bottom-up technical measures regime is qualified by various considerations. Even if not every aspect aligns with what we would want to see, it is possible to recognise that this is indeed a radically different approach and an attempt to learn from the past.

    There are however real fears that the coherence of the proposal and the attempt to achieve a decisive shift away from prescriptive micro-management will be thwarted by too many accretions as it proceeds through the co-decision process. The interinstitutional dispute between the Council and the European Parliament does not provide a very healthy context for sensible outcomes. If the proposal becomes another part of the turf war between the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers we could find ourselves back in the realm of prescriptive micro-management – a definite recipe for failure.

    The NFFO will be working through Europeche and the advisory councils to ensure that the co-legislators do not backslide, beginning with a presentation to the European Parliament Fisheries Committee on 21st March.

  3. #593
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/index.php?...ish&Itemid=392

    Scots thrilled with mackerel decision

  4. #594
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    North Sea cod could be certified sustainable within 18 months as recovery continues

    http://fish2fork.com/en_GB/news/news...very-continues

    Cod populations in the North Sea are as high as they have been for 30 years and could win an accolade as one of the most sustainable stocks in UK waters by Christmas next year.

    North Sea cod were for many years a poster fish for campaigners fighting overfishing following huge declines since 1970.

    However, in the last decade the decline has been reversed and the fish has now recovered to the point where stocks are as big as they were in the early 1980s.

    Breeding stocks of cod in the North Sea peaked at 270,000 tonnes at the beginning of the 1970s but by 2006 they had fallen to 44,000 tonnes. By last year they had bounced back to 149,000 tonnes and they are expected to continue rising.

    The fishing industry has now announced that North Sea cod are to be assessed for the Marine Stewardship Council's (MSC) 'blue tick' eco-label, widely considered the gold standard for certification of sustainable catches.

    With asessments for MSC certification usually taking about 18 months, North Sea cod carrying the eco-label could be in the shops by the end of 2017.

    Going into assessment isn't a guarantee that a fish will be granted certification of sustainability but very few fail to get it. Those that are unlikely to meet the standard generally drop out at the pre-assessment stage.


    Mike Park, chairman of the Scottish Fisheries Sustainable Accreditation Group, a coalition of organisations from the fishing industry, said: “The MSC standard is the most credible and robust benchmark there is for seafood sustainability, and the logical next step in demonstrating that North Sea cod is now sustainable.

    "Getting to this point has required a huge commitment and personal sacrifice from Scottish fishermen, who have worked hard to recover North Sea cod."

    Toby Middleton, of the MSC, added: "Whether battered and wrapped up with a portion of chips, or served in a fine dining restaurant, cod is one of Britain's best-loved and most iconic fish, so this is very welcome news.

    "The fishing industry has worked hard to improve stocks and if the assessment against the MSC standard is successful, shoppers and diners will soon be able to choose British-caught, North Sea cod with confidence, knowing it’s been certified as sustainable."

    Sam Stone, from the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), one of the organisations that campaigned for improved management of the cod stock to protect it from overfishing, also welcomed the news.

    Just last year the MCS, in recognition of the improvement in the population's health, took North Sea cod off the list of seafood it advises consumers to avoid because of environmental concerns.

    He said: "This is really positive. If the stock keeps rebuilding then there's no reason why they shouldn't be eligible for the MSC label in the not too distant future."

  5. #595
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    North Sea cod faces ultimate test to assess whether it is sustainable

    https://www.msc.org/newsroom/news/no...is-sustainable

    May 19, 2016

    North Sea cod has today entered Marine Stewardship Council assessment - widely regarded as the ultimate test of seafood sustainability. The move has been organised by a coalition of fishing organisations, supermarkets, seafood brands, and the seafood industry body Seafish following significant efforts to improve the stock by Scottish and English fishermen.

    The assessment process could lead to North Sea cod becoming MSC certified within the next 18 months, putting it back on the menu for ethically-minded shoppers and diners, who have avoided the fish for more than a decade because of overfishing concerns.

    The cod stocks in the North Sea peaked at 270,000 tonnes in the 1970s, when Scottish and English cod was widely sold and enjoyed. The stocks had fallen to just 44,000 tonnes in 2006, however a concerted effort, principally by Scottish and English fishermen, has seen stocks rise to a level of 149,000 tonnes last year.* This was achieved through collectively adopting sustainable fishing practices such as modification of their fishing gear, 'real time' closures, and sea area closures to protect spawning females.

    If an independent assessment against the MSC’s science-based standard confirms that North Sea cod is now sustainable and well-managed, the popular fish would be eligible to carry the MSC’s 'blue tick' ecolabel for the first time, giving shoppers and diners an independent assurance that it has been sourced sustainably and is traceable from ocean to plate.

    Mike Park, chairman of the Scottish Fisheries Sustainable Accreditation Group, a coalition of producer organisations and one trade body, which has already achieved MSC certification for North Sea haddock and northern saithe, said: “The MSC standard is the most credible and robust benchmark there is for seafood sustainability, and the logical next step in demonstrating that North Sea cod is now sustainable. Getting to this point has required a huge commitment and personal sacrifice from Scottish fishermen, who have worked hard to recover North Sea cod."

    Toby Middleton, Programme Director for MSC in the UK & North Atlantic, added: "Whether battered and wrapped up with a portion of chips, or served in a fine dining restaurant, cod is one of Britain's best-loved and most iconic fish, so this is very welcome news. The fishing industry has worked hard to improve stocks and if the assessment against the MSC standard is successful, shoppers and diners will soon be able to choose British-caught, North Sea cod with confidence, knowing it’s been certified as sustainable."


    * This graph shows how North Sea cod stock levels (Bpa) have changed over time. MSC certification aims for fish stocks at sustainable levels, with fishing effort that aims to reach or maintain the sustainable stock level (MSYB trigger). The third line (Blim) represents a dangerously low stock level. Source: International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).

  6. #596
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    Discard ban: Scientists predict economic losses for the sector

    http://europeche.chil.me/post/discar...-sector-105737

  7. #597
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    Surprise surprise NOT they found Cod in the Clyde !!


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