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  1. #11
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    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fulls..._mackerel.html

    EU and Scots fishermen to meet EU Fisheries Commissioner to highlight need for a fair deal on mackerel



    European Union mackerel fishermen – including from Scotland – will meet with EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki in Brussels today (21 October)

    to discuss crucial negotiations that will resume later this week (23 to 25 October) in London with Iceland and the Faroes to try and resolve the protracted dispute over mackerel quotas.

    The EU and Norway are in dispute with Iceland and the Faroese following their move four years ago to unilaterally increase their mackerel quotas by massive amounts outwith an international management plan.

    Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said: “We will be telling the Commissioner that because of the recent independent science confirming the north-east Atlantic mackerel stock is in robust health that the EU must not be pressurised into rushing into a deal, and that any agreement struck must not compromise the interests of the UK and EU fleets who have been sustainably harvesting mackerel within a management plan.

    “We will remind the Commissioner that the negotiating strategy should be pursued jointly with our colleagues in Norway, and that under no circumstances should any agreement contain the provision that would enable Iceland to fish for mackerel off the Scottish coast.

    “We will also be telling her of the importance of mackerel to the UK and other parts of the EU, which supports a large number of jobs in the processing and associated onshore industries. It would be a tragedy if some of these traditional jobs were lost so as to reward others for their irresponsible behaviour.”

  2. #12
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    http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2013/...alks-under-way

    European fish quota talks under way

    Crucial talks on next year’s fishing quotas began in Brussels today with the future of the North East Atlantic mackerel fishery and potential cuts to white fish top of the agenda.

    Fishermen met EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki prior to the resumption of the fisheries council on Wednesday to highlight their fears over Icelandic and Faroese access to the mackerel fishery.

    Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association chief executive Ian Gatt said that with science confirming the north-east Atlantic mackerel stock is in robust health the “EU must not be pressurised into rushing into a deal”, and that any agreement must not compromise the interests of the UK and EU fleets who had been “sustainably harvesting mackerel within a management plan”.

    He added: “We will remind the Commissioner that the negotiating strategy should be pursued jointly with our colleagues in Norway, and that under no circumstances should any agreement contain the provision that would enable Iceland to fish for mackerel off the Scottish coast.

    “We will also be telling her of the importance of mackerel to the UK and other parts of the EU, which supports a large number of jobs in the processing and associated onshore industries. It would be a tragedy if some of these traditional jobs were lost so as to reward others for their irresponsible behaviour.”

    The EU and Norway are in dispute with Iceland and the Faroese following their move four years ago to increase their mackerel quotas in breach of the international management plan.

    Scottish Fisheries Minister Richard Lochhead warned that cuts of 15 per cent on whiting and nine per cent on cod were likely to be made and would threaten an increase in discards while the EU is moving towards a ban on discarding fish.

    His comments followed the latest scientific advice from the International Council of the Sea (ICES).

    He added that sustainable fisheries were vital to the future success of the fishing industry and, while the North Sea cod stock was not fully recovered, it had more than doubled in the last five years and fishing rates were now the lowest observed since assessments began in the 1960s.

    He said: “The Scottish Government, our fishing industry and consumers all want to see an end to discards. This latest advice highlights the complexities of managing mixed fisheries. Clearly, we will be pushing hard to find a sensible course of action while the cod stock is recovering to avoid a position that increases discards, as would likely result if the quota were to be set in line with the management plan – this would be a nine per cent cut.”

    “We will now consider our options in more detail as we prepare to negotiate the best deal for Scotland’s fishermen while of course ensuring stocks are protected for the future.”

  3. #13
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/scottish-n...ng-advice.html

    FOLLOWING the publication of the latest scientific advice on North Sea cod and North Sea whiting by the International Council of the Sea (ICES), Scotland's Fisheries Minister Richard Lochhead has expressed his disappointment.

    Speaking on Sunday, he said: "Sustainable fisheries are vital to the future success of the Scottish fishing industry and, while the North Sea cod stock is not fully recovered, the stock has more than doubled in the last five years and fishing rates are now the lowest observed since assessments began in the 1960s.

    "The Scottish Government, our fishing industry and consumers all want to see an end to discards. This latest advice highlights the complexities of managing mixed fisheries. Clearly, we will be pushing hard to find a sensible course of action while the cod stock is recovering to avoid a position that increases discards, as would likely result if the quota were to be set in line with the management plan – this would be a nine per cent cut.

    "As always, the scientific advice presents challenges, and I am disappointed to see that the revised advice for whiting is likely to result in a fifteen per cent cut in quota next year.

    "We will now consider our options in more detail as we prepare to negotiate the best deal for Scotland's fishermen while of course ensuring stocks are protected for the future."

  4. #14
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    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fulls...ds_-_NFFO.html

    New project highlights positive use of discards - NFFO



    A NEW research project called “Utilisation of discards in bait”, funded by Seafish and Defra, has identified new uses for species commonly discarded due to weak or absent markets. The National Fedferation of Fishermen's Organisations has described the project as setting out a positive use of discards.

    The Defra initiative ’Fishing for the Markets (2011)’ highlighted that commonly discarded fish could be used to balance the current shortage of bait in the supply chain. The undersupply issue could be solved by using discards that are not fit for human consumption as pot bait.

    Michaela Archer at Seafish said: “The bait market has capacity to be a solution for the utilisation of discarded fish, but needs further investigation in terms of feasibility, storage, transportation, costs, handling and further investment on a local and national level.”

    Following the initial studies carried out in ‘Fishing For the Markets’, Defra and Seafish have tasked NFFO Services to focus on delivering three key project stages by February 2014:

    Review of the bait supply chain: to understand what is used where, and to determine logistics and commercial requirements which need to be in place to facilitate the future use of discards in bait.
    Commercial trials: to compare discard species against standard baits already used to assess their effectiveness.
    Reporting: once trials and reviews have been completed, a report detailing the key findings will reveal whether the use of discards as bait is a practical and cost-effective future method for managing discards that may not be sold in human consumption.

    Dale Rodmell, NFFO Assistant Chief Executive said:“There is much to work out yet about how the landings obligation can be made to work, whilst avoiding unintended consequences, but utilising discards for bait does offer one possible opportunity”.

    “Bait costs are soaring as the demand for bait competes with other markets for fish not for human consumption. The hope is that the availability of fresh fish bait may be an attractive alternative for pot fishermen. It may also boost catching efficiency as it is thought to be more attractive, especially to crabs.

  5. #15
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/46-latest-...c-impasse.html

    REPRESENTATIVES of the EU pelagic fishing industry met Commissioner Damanaki last night to put forward a realistic solution to resolving the long running mackerel dispute between EU and Norway on one side and Faroe Islands and Iceland on the other.

    The EU industry took this initiative in the light of the dramatically changed scientific advice for 2014 (64% increase) and the unjustified autonomous quota for 2013 of approximately 334,000 tonnes by Iceland, Faroe Islands and now also Greenland. This is more than a tenfold increase of their mackerel catches in 2005.

    Gerard van Balsfoort, chairman of the Northern Pelagic Working Group of EAPO, said right after the meeting: "We presented the Commissioner a detailed solution for the sharing arrangement of the mackerel stock which allows for the expansion and contraction of the mackerel stock in the N E Atlantic waters. The EU pelagic industry firmly believes that we are now in an expansion phase where the stock is dependent upon wider feeding areas. However, ICES confirms that the core spawning area still remains the same, which is west and southwest of Ireland.

    "Our solution, which we put forward to Commissioner Damanaki, covered a three-tiered structure where Tier One represents the existing arrangements between the Coastal States. Tier Two recognizes the expansion of the stock and the increased catches by Iceland and Faroe Islands and would allow for increased shares by these coastal states. When the scientific advice would be greater than the 2014 advice (which is 900,000 tonnes) a combination of the Tier One and Tier Two sharing arrangements would be put in place. We are pleased that Commissioner Damanaki agreed to examine our detailed proposal."

    The EU pelagic industry emphasised to Commissioner Damanaki that the Commission's present thinking on sharing arrangements was flawed and not a fair, balanced and realistic solution.

    The EU pelagic industry will be actively advocating this new approach with the European Commission and Member States at the forthcoming Coastal States negotiations starting in London tomorrow.

  6. #16
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/44-latest-...e-learned.html

    THE crucial nature of collaborating with fishermen before the implementation of any discard law has been highlighted by a Chilean government official during a talk to representatives of the UK seafood industry.

    Luis Cocas, from Chile's Undersecretariat for Fisheries and Aquaculture, was invited by Seafish to speak at its recent Discard Action Group (DAG) meeting in London, a forum for the discussion of industry-wide problems relating to discards.

    Chile is among the largest fish producing countries on the globe and Mr Cocas is responsible for implementing the new Chilean Discard Law, which was introduced in September 2012. Chile's discards law prohibits discards of target species and bycatch by industrial and artisanal vessels and will be monitored via onboard cameras and self-assessments, with fines issued to offenders.

    However, the law´s sanctions do not come into effect until a research programme, with a minimum two year timescale, has been completed in the various fisheries within both the industrial and artisanal fleets. This programme aims to quantify the extent of discards and incidental catches of birds, turtles and mammals and to identify the causes of discards. The vessels owners have agreed to let scientific observers on board and to collaborate with them to monitor discards, and the skippers will also be required to fill out log books, regardless of the presence of an observer. The last represents a significant shift in the approach to the problem, making the fishing users participate actively in its solution.

    The results will be used in the near future to create a set of measures to mitigate discards and incidental catches; such as training courses, development of a code of conduct for good fishing practices, improvements to current administrative and technical processes, development of new markets for discarded species, and incentives for the development of innovative gear solutions.

    Speaking at the event, Mr Cocas told the group: "It was important that we designed a research program that worked for the industry as well as the government, and through a series of workshops and meetings we socialised the law, liaised with fishermen and implemented their feedback into the program to achieve a better acceptance.

    "The concept behind the 'non-sanctions program' is to encourage industry to operate normally, favouring the collection of unbiased data. Before we start penalising vessel owners, it is only fair that we get a full understanding of what actually goes on out at sea so we can help the industry manage discards in a better way and reduce the impact of the ban.

    "Participating in the DAG meeting was such an experience for me, since this forum is a great example of the kind of collaboration needed on such an important issue. I am keen to replicate a similar group in Chile to ensure we continue to monitor the challenges and successes of our own discard law, with the participation of all the fishing users."

    DAG was set up by Seafish in 2008 in light of the many initiatives being adopted by the fishing industry to reduce discards. The group meets three times a year and includes representatives from the catching sector, legislators, regulators, technologists, scientists, retailers, the food service sector and environmental organisations.

    Group Chair Mike Park, who is a member of the Seafish Board, said: "Over the past few months, the industry has been carrying out various trials and research studies to help us understand the real impact of the landing obligations but there is clearly still work to be done. We are delighted that Luis wanted to talk at our latest DAG meeting and it has been fascinating to hear about the work being done in Chile."

  7. #17
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/44-latest-...es-review.html

    Westminster launches EU fisheries review

    THE UK government has invited Britons with knowledge of the fishing industry to share their views on how the EU has affected the UK national interest.

    This call for evidence is part of the Government's Balance of Competences Review, an analysis of what EU membership means for the UK. The review is examining the scope of EU powers and the effects they have on the UK.

    The Fisheries element of the report will examine EU powers for the Common Fisheries Policy, the management of fisheries and the farming of fish and shellfish.

    Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said: "We want to hear from people with direct experience of what our membership of the EU means in practice. Our farmers and fishermen are affected by it every day, so I'd like to know what they think. Anyone involved in agriculture, forestry or the fishing industry will have a view, as will the thousands of businesses linked to them. This is a real opportunity to inform the national debate on Europe."

    The calls for evidence will run for twelve weeks from 21 October 2013 to 13 January 2014. The final reports will be published in summer 2014.

  8. #18
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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-24636398

    Fresh mackerel talks begin over Iceland and Faroe Islands quotas

    Fresh talks aimed at resolving the long-running mackerel quotas wrangle are taking place in London.

    Iceland and the Faroe Islands have been in dispute between the EU and Norway after upping their own quotas.

    The new UK fisheries Minister George Eustice - who will visit the fishing town of Peterhead on Thursday - said he was hopeful of some sort of agreement being reached.

    Mackerel is Scotland's most valuable catch.

    Mr Eustice replaced Richard Benyon as UK fisheries minister in a recent reshuffle.

  9. #19
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    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fulls..._Damanaki.html

    EU pelagic industry meets Commissioner Maria Damanaki



    Last night representatives of the EU pelagic fishing industry (listed below) met Commissioner Damanaki to put forward a realistic solution to resolving the long running mackerel dispute between EU and Norway on one side and Faroe Islands and Iceland on the other.

    The EU industry took this initiative in the light of the dramatically changed scientific advice for 2014 (64% increase) and the unjustified autonomous quota for 2013 of approximately 334,000 tonnes by Iceland, Faroe Islands and now also Greenland. This is more than a tenfold increase of their mackerel catches in 2005.
    Gerard van Balsfoort, chairman of the Northern Pelagic Working Group of EAPO, said right after the meeting: “We presented the Commissioner a detailed solution for the sharing arrangement of the mackerel stock which allows for the expansion and contraction of the mackerel stock in the N E Atlantic waters. The EU pelagic industry firmly believes that we are now in an expansion phase where the stock is dependent upon wider feeding areas. However, ICES confirms that the core spawning area still remains the same, which is west and southwest of Ireland”.
    He added: ”Our solution which we put forward to Commissioner Damanaki covered a three-tiered structure where Tier One represents the existing arrangements between the Coastal States. Tier Two recognizes the expansion of the stock and the increased catches by Iceland and Faroe Islands and would allow for increased shares by these coastal states. When the scientific advice would be greater than the 2014 advice (which is 900,000 tonnes) a combination of the Tier One and Tier Two sharing arrangements would be put in place. We are pleased that Commissioner Damanaki agreed to examine out detailed proposal”.
    The EU pelagic industry emphasized to Commissioner Damanaki that the Commission’s present thinking on sharing arrangements was flawed and not a fair, balanced and realistic solution.
    The EU pelagic industry will be actively advocating this new approach with the European Commission and Member States at the forthcoming Coastal States negotiations starting in London tomorrow.

  10. #20
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    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fulls...tish_jobs.html

    SCDI urges negotiators to secure mackerel quota agreement to safeguard Scottish jobs



    As the latest round of talks surrounding mackerel quotas come to a close in London the Scottish Council for the Development of Industry (SCDI) has urged negotiators to secure an agreement that safeguards jobs in some of Scotland’s more fragile communities.

    Fraser Grieve, Highlands and Islands manager for the SCDI, said: “Mackerel is the most valuable catch for the Scottish industry, supporting well over 2,000 jobs, most of which are in rural economies, such as Shetland, the Highlands and Peterhead.

    “The dispute over quotas has been going on for over two years and several rounds of talks have failed to produce an agreement. This is hugely unsettling for those communities and individuals whose livelihoods depend on the mackerel fishery and a consensus must be reached soon.

    “In the last few months there have been several developments. The EU has imposed sanctions on the Faroe Islands and is threatening similar measures against Iceland. Over the past few years, this on-going issue has caused instability and concern to those associated with the industry in Scotland. Given the importance of the mackerel catch it is vital that negotiators reach an agreement on quotas and give the industry a much-needed sense of security.”

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