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  1. #101
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    http://www.nffo.org.uk/news/nffo_wel...agreement.html

    NFFO Welcomes Final Agreement on North Sea Quota But Says Delay Has Caused Serious Difficulties For Fleets

    The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO) has welcomed last night’s agreement on North Sea quota but says the three month delay in reaching the agreement has caused serious economic difficulties for may fleets against a backdrop of crippling financial pressures caused by the recent storms.

    The NFFO’s chief executive, Barrie Deas, said: “After many false starts and delays, agreement has now been reached with Norway on a reciprocal deal for 2014. This means that EU vessels can now fish in the Norwegian zone of the North Sea and TACs have been settled for joint stocks.

    “The 5 per cent quota increase on North Sea cod is welcomed and more than justified by scientific research on stock levels, but in our view EU Norway are arguably playing a pretty conservative game given the problems faced with the stock in the past. Nevertheless, cod stocks continue to grow steadily and we look forward to further quota increases in future years.”

    The spectacular rebuilding of North Sea plaice stock is another area of good news, reflected in a fifteen per cent increase in quota and is evidence of the successful management practices delivered by both scientists and the industry.

    According to the NFFO, the 15 per cent reduction in haddock, whiting and saithe reflect the management plans in place and natural fluctuations in stock levels - reductions which have been significantly modified by quota transfers from Germany.

    Mr Deas added: “These negotiations have been highly convoluted due to their entanglement with the mackerel dispute between Faroe and Iceland. We understand that simultaneously, a trilateral deal on mackerel has been reached between EU, Norway and Faroe, with scope for this to be extended to Iceland quite soon, once outstanding issues relating to Greenland have been resolved.”

    The key points in the EU Norway agreement are:

    An increase in the North Sea Cod TAC by 5%; this is in contrast to the proposed reduction of 9%. This provides a TAC in 2014 of 27,799t
    The TAC for North Sea Haddock remains as per the management plan -15% (16,092t), although the EU has secured a transfer of haddock from Norway of 2600t which mitigates the reduction to -6% (18,692t)
    Similarly in whiting, the TAC has been maintained as per the management plan -15% (38,284t) although a transfer from Norway to the EU of 750t mitigates the reduction to -8% (39,034t) – a revised management plan with an (f) of 0.15 is to be sent to ICES for evaluation
    The TAC for Saithe has been set per the management plan at 77,536t (-15%); there is to be inter-annual flexibility from 2014 onwards. Of that some 8,045t is allocated to area Via
    The TAC for plaice has been set per the management plan at 111,631t (+15%) The transfer of plaice from Norway to the EU has reduced from 700t to 300t. There is to be inter-annual flexibility from 2014 onwards.
    The uplift of cod to operate the FDF scheme has been maintained at a level of 12% of the TAC.
    The TAC for Norwegian others has been increased from 6,500t to 7,250t an increase of 11.5%
    The transfer of ling from the EU to Norway has been reduced from 6,140t to 5,500 and the transfer of Ling from Norway to the EU has increased from 850t to 950t.
    The Amount of Cod secured for EU vessels at North Norway has increased from 18,202 in to 2013 to 20,524 in 2014. The amount of haddock secured has decreased from 1,500t to 1200t
    100,000t of Blue whiting was used to secure the transfer from Norway; this contrasts quite significantly with the 45,000t used the previous year.

  2. #102
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/scottish-n...-pelagics.html

    £83 million boost for Scots pelagics

    A FIVE year trilateral agreement between the EU, Norway and the Faroes on mackerel share allocations for the north-east Atlantic has been agreed this evening – an outcome that could make Scotland's most valuable fishery worth an extra £83 million this year alone.

    Whilst Iceland - the other main player - will not form part of this particular agreement, the door has been left open for them to join in the future once their internal issues with Greenland over mackerel are resolved.

    At a time when stocks are particularly healthy, Scottish fishermen will be able to catch almost an extra 100,000 tonnes of mackerel after their total quota was set at over 210,000 tonnes – roughly equivalent to 42 per cent of the total EU quota. An unallocated amount has been set aside for Iceland to sign up to at any stage.

    Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "After all these years waiting for a deal this agreement will bring welcome relief to the Scottish fishing industry.

    "There have been times when any agreement seemed far away but we have been clear that any deal would need to be good for the Scottish industry. I believe the increase in almost 100,000 tonnes of mackerel quota will bring much needed certainty over the next few years and allow businesses to plan ahead.

    "Our fishing industry still faces significant challenges, with our fleet having to endure cuts to quotas while at the same time working towards a landing obligation and reducing discards. However, I welcome the end of these talks and I am pleased that the negotiations managed to significantly mitigate reductions in some of our key traditional stocks of haddock and whiting.

    "The 5 per cent increase in cod quotas, while slightly less than hoped for, puts an end to the nonsensical cut proposal that would have simply resulted in an increase in discards.

    "I hope Iceland will now step forward and join the agreement to make it complete and allow the international fishery to be properly and sustainably managed, and that that, now the negotiations are concluded, Scotland's fisherman can move forward with confidence and continue to make their outstanding contribution to the Scottish economy."

  3. #103
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/scottish-n...-pelagics.html

    £83 million boost for Scots pelagics

    A FIVE year trilateral agreement between the EU, Norway and the Faroes on mackerel share allocations for the north-east Atlantic has been agreed this evening – an outcome that could make Scotland's most valuable fishery worth an extra £83 million this year alone.

    Whilst Iceland - the other main player - will not form part of this particular agreement, the door has been left open for them to join in the future once their internal issues with Greenland over mackerel are resolved.

    At a time when stocks are particularly healthy, Scottish fishermen will be able to catch almost an extra 100,000 tonnes of mackerel after their total quota was set at over 210,000 tonnes – roughly equivalent to 42 per cent of the total EU quota. An unallocated amount has been set aside for Iceland to sign up to at any stage.

    Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "After all these years waiting for a deal this agreement will bring welcome relief to the Scottish fishing industry.

    "There have been times when any agreement seemed far away but we have been clear that any deal would need to be good for the Scottish industry. I believe the increase in almost 100,000 tonnes of mackerel quota will bring much needed certainty over the next few years and allow businesses to plan ahead.

    "Our fishing industry still faces significant challenges, with our fleet having to endure cuts to quotas while at the same time working towards a landing obligation and reducing discards. However, I welcome the end of these talks and I am pleased that the negotiations managed to significantly mitigate reductions in some of our key traditional stocks of haddock and whiting.

    "The 5 per cent increase in cod quotas, while slightly less than hoped for, puts an end to the nonsensical cut proposal that would have simply resulted in an increase in discards.

    "I hope Iceland will now step forward and join the agreement to make it complete and allow the international fishery to be properly and sustainably managed, and that that, now the negotiations are concluded, Scotland's fisherman can move forward with confidence and continue to make their outstanding contribution to the Scottish economy."

  4. #104
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    Well Richard Lochhead trying to claim this "deal" as good for the fleet just shows the attitude the SNP has towards our fishermen , this deal is an absolute disgrace as Faroe has been fishing illegally for 4 years awarding themselves an annual 150,000t quota and instead of them being punished for it they get to keep that share and the SNP say NOTHING , why? simple its the EU that did the deal and they are more than happy with it as this will be what happens to the rest of our fleet if , god forbid , they win in September, Davie

    http://www.fishnewseu.com/scottish-n...se-piracy.html

    Deal soured by Faroese “piracy”

    DESPITE assurances from Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead that yesterday's deal over mackerel quotas in the Northeast Atlantic should be seen as a major boon for Scotland's pelagic industry, not all fishermen are impressed.

    Furious fishermen in Shetland said they were "bitterly disappointed" with the European Commission for failing to protect the long-term interests of the UK's pelagic fleet.

    Simon Collins, executive officer of Shetland Fishermen's Association, which represents one third of Britain's pelagic vessels, said: "Quite simply, this deal has rewarded Faroese piracy – and fishermen in Shetland are disgusted with the size of the reward.

    "Yes, our boats will get an uplift in their own mackerel quotas in the short term, but we are not to be bought off in this fashion. The European Commission has not understood that Shetland, like all other successful fishing communities, has a long-term view.

    "The fact is that a vastly reduced quota share seriously compromises the outlook for future generations, as the mackerel stock could contract as well as expand in the course of its natural cycle.

    "This is a deeply ironic outcome, as much of the mackerel we catch is found very close to our shores.

    "This fishery is far more important to Shetland than it ever was to Faroe. Yet unelected bureaucrats in Brussels led by an irresponsible Fisheries Commissioner have been given free rein to betray our community.

    "This cavalier treatment of the UK's most valuable catch is shameful."

    Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen's Association, said: "There were no winners in this deal, with sacrifices and concessions being made by all sides, not least by the Scottish and UK industries which will have a lower overall mackerel share allocation as a result.

    "Whilst we believe the shares awarded to the Faroe Islands are too high, there are positive aspects to the deal. The big prize is certainly capturing an international fisheries agreement for the north-east Atlantic's most important stock.

    "It is highly significant that an important element of this long-standing dispute has finally been resolved as it will go a long way in ensuring that the fishery can be regulated and carefully managed again. This will benefit the mackerel stock and bring to an end the considerable uncertainty hanging over our pelagic fishing fleet and the onshore processing sector, both of which make a significant contribution to our economy. The UK mackerel sector can now plan ahead with greater confidence.

    "According to the science, the mackerel stock is in a healthy state, and whilst our overall share allocation is lower we will have more fish to catch because of the increased overall quota. The burden of sharing between the EU and Norway has also been maintained. The Faroe Islands will negotiate access to Scottish waters for a percentage of their mackerel allocation but this must be set at a reasonable level based on their traditional access share.

    "The deal also leaves the provision for Iceland to become part of the new agreement, once issues concerning a new autonomous quota for mackerel set by Greenland have been resolved."

  5. #105
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    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fulls...alks_deal.html

    Anger in Shetland over mackerel talks deal



    FURIOUS fishermen in Shetland have condemned the deal to award a huge increase in mackerel quota to Faroe.

    They said they were ‘bitterly disappointed’ with the European Commission for failing to protect the long-term interests of the UK’s pelagic fleet.

    Simon Collins, executive officer of Shetland Fishermen’s Association, which represents one third of Britain’s pelagic vessels, said: ‘Quite simply, this deal has rewarded Faroese piracy – and fishermen in Shetland are disgusted with the size of the reward.

    ‘Yes, our boats will get an uplift in their own mackerel quotas in the short term, but we are not to be bought off in this fashion. The European Commission has not understood that Shetland, like all other successful fishing communities, has a long-term view.

    ‘The fact is that a vastly reduced quota share seriously compromises the outlook for future generations, as the mackerel stock could contract as well as expand in the course of its natural cycle.

    ‘This is a deeply ironic outcome, as much of the mackerel we catch is found very close to our shores. This fishery is far more important to Shetland than it ever was to Faroe.

    ‘Yet unelected bureaucrats in Brussels led by an irresponsible Fisheries Commissioner have been given free rein to betray our community. This cavalier treatment of the UK’s most valuable catch is shameful.’

    Mr Collins added: ‘We are also angry and frustrated at the Commission’s behaviour over recent months. If they had been much firmer from the outset, we might have achieved a much better deal.’

    On the EU-Norway quota deal, Mr Collins said it was pleasing that after years of cuts there would be a five per cent increase in the cod quota.

    ‘It’s not long ago that we heard talk from certain quarters that there were only 100 cod left in the North Sea, so it is good finally to have official recognition of what we have been saying for a long time now – that there is a huge amount of cod off our shores.’

    However, he voiced his disappointment at cuts in quota for other key species such as haddock, whiting and saithe.

  6. #106
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    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fulls...alks_deal.html

    Iceland frozen out of mackerel talks deal



    ICELAND appears to be isolated on the mackerel issue after the Faroe Islands, its ally in the dispute, signed a five year tripartite agreement on mackerel in London last night.

    Unconfirmed reports suggest that the Faroese will be offered a 12.5 per cent share of the North East Atlantic mackerel quota when it is established.

    ICES, the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas, is proposing a 890,000 ton total catch this year. Iceland, which was also offered a 12.5 per cent share at last week's Edinburgh talks, has been taking a quota of around 16 per cent.

    The situation was further complicated last week when it was learned that Greenland has decided to fish for 100,000 tons of North East Atlantic mackerel.

    The Faroese government has yet to comment formally on the agreement, which was signed at the Norwegian Embassy in London, but this small fishing nation with a population of just 90,000, has been the hardest hit economically during this protracted row.

    It should also leave the way open for a deal on the separate herring dispute between the Faroes and the EU. The Faroese also appear to be patching up their differences with Norway and talks are now underway for a bilateral fishing agreement between the two countries.

    And to round off a reasonably successful week, Norwegian fishermen are able to return to European Union waters after the conclusion of an EU-Norway fish swap deal which should also please Danish and Scottish fishermen.

    The only outstanding issue to be resolved is how much blue whiting the Norwegians can take from EU fishing grounds.

  7. #107
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/scottish-n...rway-deal.html

    Whitefish sector pleased with Norway deal

    WHILE yesterday's agreement over mackerel quotas in the Northeast Atlantic has caused some resentment amongst Scotland's pelagic sector, the EU-Norway quota deal seems to have been greeted with greater enthusiasm by the whitefish fleet.

    Simon Collins, executive officer of Shetland Fishermen's Association, said it was pleasing that after years of cuts there would be a five per cent increase in the cod quota.

    "It's not long ago that we heard talk from certain quarters that there were only 100 cod left in the North Sea, so it is good finally to have official recognition of what we have been saying for a long time now – that there is a huge amount of cod off our shores."

    However, he voiced his disappointment at cuts in quota for other key species such as haddock, whiting and saithe.

    Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation, said: "This deal has now led to the signing of an agreement between the EU and Norway on North Sea quota share arrangements for vitally important whitefish stocks such as cod, haddock, whiting and saithe, with access for Scottish boats into Norwegian waters now coming into operation with immediate effect.

    "It also brings forward the likelihood of Scottish whitefish boats gaining access to Faroese waters, which has been denied to them for the past four years because of the mackerel dispute."

  8. #108
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    http://www.fishingforthetruth.co.uk/...s-deal-signed/

    Mixed bag for Scottish fishermen as EU/Faroes fishery access deal is signed

    Posted on March 13, 2014 by fishing4thetruth in General News

    It was a mixed bag of news for Scotland’s fishermen following the signing tonight (13 March) of an EU/Faroes agreement on swaps of fish and access arrangements to each other’s waters.

    For whitefish fishermen, it means that for the first time in four years Scottish boats will now be able to fish within Faroese waters. Access had been denied in recent years because of the mackerel dispute with the Faroese, but this issue was resolved yesterday (12 March) after protracted negotiations.

    Bertie Armstrong, chief executive for the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said: “This is good news for our whitefish fishermen, particularly for the larger Scottish boats that have been denied access through no fault of their own to their traditional fishery in Faroese waters. This lack of access had been caused by the Faroese over-catching of mackerel, which was resolved in a painful compromise deal yesterday.”

    Under tonight’s agreement, the catching opportunity offered to the Faroes includes 15,000 tonnes of blue whiting and in return the Scottish fleet will benefit from some 2,000 tonnes of whitefish, including cod, haddock and saithe.

    Mr Armstrong added: “Access to Faroese waters will open on 1 April and the reciprocal opening of EU waters to the Faroes will demand a robust enforcement regime to ensure compliance.”

    For the Scots pelagic sector, there was severe disappointment over the new deal, given that it would allow the Faroese to catch a much higher tonnage of their own allocated mackerel quota in Scottish waters than before. However, the Scottish sector was pleased that neither West of Scotland herring nor mackerel was used as part of the exchange of quotas.

    Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association said: “We are bitterly disappointed that the Faroes has received access to fish 29% of their own mackerel quota in Scottish waters, which equates to a much higher tonnage than under the previous arrangement. Our industry is calling upon the Scottish Government to introduce a robust control and compliance regime that ensures that this access provision is not abused in any way.”

  9. #109
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/44-latest-...-trawlers.html

    Faroe Agreement Provides Financial Lifeline For Scottish Trawlers

    The Scottish White fish Producers Association (SWFPA) said today that the negotiated agreement between the EU and Faroe, which provides access to the Faroe zone for the first time since 2010, provides a hugely welcome financial lifeline for many of its members.



    Speaking from London immediately after signing of the agreement between the EU and Faroe, Association CEO Mike Park said, "The deal with Faroe has been a long time coming yet still comes at a welcome time when many of our members continue to feel the full effect of other financial pressures. The vessels previously removed from this fishery represent the most heavily invested of all our sectors and the freedom to operate across a range of fishing opportunities was always paramount to their success; the fishery at Faroe was a major feature of their operational plans".

    The negotiated deal provides an additional 2,000 tonnes across a range of species and goes some way to mitigate the cuts introduced as part of the recent negotiations with Norway. The ability to once again fish Faroese waters will be felt by the breadth of the fisheries sector, as some of the competition for the limited opportunities to fish within the cod recovery zone will now be removed.

    Speaking from his home in Whitehills in the North East of Scotland, Peter Lovie, Chairman of SWFPA's Shelf Edge Committee and skipper of Endeavour IV which fished Faroese waters, said "This is really good news given that only seven days ago we thought the prospects of a deal with Faroe had evaporated. I used to fish a fair amount of time in Faroe waters and it has been really difficult to operate profitably since we lost access. I'm really pleased that we can now return to some semblance of normality".

    Access to Faroe waters will open on the 1st April, which gives the authorities time to prepare necessary licensing and vessel lists.

    SWFPA praised Marine Scotland and their officials for their unrelenting and dogmatic approach in hunting down a deal with Faroe.

  10. #110
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/scottish-n...se-waters.html

    Scots return to Faroese waters

    THE first EU/Faroe fishing agreement since 2010 has been met with mixed feelings by Scottish fishermen, with whitefish vessels more positive about the news than their pelagic counterparts.

    For the former, it means that for the first time in four years Scottish boats will now be able to fish within Faroese waters. Access had been denied in recent years because of the mackerel dispute, but this issue was resolved on March 12 after protracted negotiations.

    Bertie Armstrong, chief executive for the Scottish Fishermen's Federation, said: "This is good news for our whitefish fishermen, particularly for the larger Scottish boats that have been denied access through no fault of their own to their traditional fishery in Faroese waters. This lack of access had been caused by the Faroese over-catching of mackerel, which was resolved in a painful compromise deal yesterday."

    Under tonight's agreement, the catching opportunity offered to the Faroes includes 15,000 tonnes of blue whiting and in return the Scottish fleet will benefit from some 2,000 tonnes of whitefish, including cod, haddock and saithe.

    Mr Armstrong added: "Access to Faroese waters will open on 1 April and the reciprocal opening of EU waters to the Faroes will demand a robust enforcement regime to ensure compliance."

    For the Scots pelagic sector, there was severe disappointment over the new deal, given that it would allow the Faroese to catch a much higher tonnage of their own allocated mackerel quota in Scottish waters than before. However, the Scottish sector was pleased that neither West of Scotland herring nor mackerel was used as part of the exchange of quotas.

    Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen's Association said: "We are bitterly disappointed that the Faroes has received access to fish 29% of their own mackerel quota in Scottish waters, which equates to a much higher tonnage than under the previous arrangement. Our industry is calling upon the Scottish Government to introduce a robust control and compliance regime that ensures that this access provision is not abused in any way."

    Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "As an added benefit, this will of course reduce some of the fishing pressure on our North Sea and West Coast grounds. This provides significant fresh and new opportunities and perhaps, more importantly, some much needed flexibility for vessels deciding where they fish. These EU negotiations with the Faroe Islands are always tricky and involve give and take but our industry now has certainty to move forward."

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