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  1. #201
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    https://twitter.com/NFFO_UK/status/544969792349028353

    NFFO ‏@NFFO_UK

    Council: Irish Sea nephrops (+3%) and hake (+11%) will be welcomed.

  2. #202
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    QUOTA AGREEMENT REACHED AT FISHERIES COUNCIL

    http://www.fishingforthetruth.co.uk/...eries-council/

    Posted on December 16, 2014 by fishing4thetruth in Europe/CFP

    The Fisheries Council talks to finalise catching opportunity for 2015 concluded in Brussels tonight (16 December) with the agreement on quotas bringing some stability for the Scottish fleet – although huge fears remain over the potential impact of the discard ban.

    The agreement has resulted in increases for West coast haddock (+14%), North Sea prawns (+15%), monkfish (+20%) and megrim (+ 1%), with a drop for West coast prawns (- 7%) and West coast herring (-19%). Quotas for other key stocks had been agreed earlier in the month with increases for North Sea cod and haddock and falls for North Sea saithe and whiting.

    Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said: “With the majority of stocks of interest to Scottish fishermen either in good health or moving in the right direction, the quotas agreed today deliver an element of short-term stability for much of the Scottish fleet. It is particularly pleasing that for 2015 there will be more catching opportunity for haddock, monkfish, North Sea prawns and North Sea cod. This is helpful for the Scottish fleet and our thanks go to Scottish fishing minister Richard Lochhead and his negotiating team.”

    However, the biggest challenge now facing the industry will be the implementation of the discard ban, or landing obligation as it is known. It will come into operation for mackerel and herring fishers on 1 January 2015, with the demersal fleet following the year after. The scheme means that fishermen will have to land all the fish they catch, which will be counted against their quota.

    Mr Armstrong said: “Fishermen hate having to discard and throw perfectly good fish over the side, but we have real fears that the landing obligation will be implemented in a way that will lead to unnecessary damage to the industry. Unbelievably, the present regulations which force fishermen to discard fish – such as the ‘minimum landing size’ rules – remain in force and there is no legal certainty over whether these regulations or the new ones will prevail.

    “This is well-recognised by the UK and Scottish Governments, who will issue guidance, but the fact remains that the introduction of a revolution in fisheries management has no proper legal foundation. This inevitably makes the industry deeply nervous. It is essential that this is corrected over the coming months – and certainly before the introduction in 2016 of the discard ban for complex mixed fisheries. The industry and Scottish Government have agreed that this is a top priority for 2015.”

  3. #203
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    https://www.facebook.com/groups/9101...2736928212284/

    Quentin Bates
    6 mins

    DEFRA press release just now... Leaving out most of the BS, figures are as follows.

    · Days at sea kept at 2014 levels rather than reduced

    · Increased quota for fishermen in many areas, including the following:

    1. North Sea: 5% cod,15% Nephrops (prawns), 15% plaice

    2. North Sea and West Scotland : 6% haddock, 20% angler (monkfish)

    3. Irish Sea: Nephrops (prawns) 3%

    4. Around the UK: hake 11%

    · Reducing cuts to a number of important fish quotas by providing sound scientific evidence to the Council. Including:

    1. Celtic Sea: 64% cut to cod reduced to 26% and 41% cut to haddock reduced to 12%

    2. Eastern Channel: 60% cut to sole reduced to 28%

    3. Bristol Channel: 35% cut to sole reduced to 15%

    · As well as maintaining 2014 quotas for a number of stocks, including:

    1. Irish Sea: haddock

    2. South West: angler (monkfish), megrim

    3. Bristol Channel: plaice

    4. North Sea: megrim, dab and flounder, sole and ling

    · And accepting proposals for cuts where necessary to protect stocks, including:

    1.Celtic Sea: 30% cut to herring, 26% cut to cod and 12%

    2. North Sea: 5% herring, 15% saithe

  4. #204
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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotlan...tland-30508367

    The Scottish Fishermen's Federation have criticised a ban on discarding unwanted fish into the sea as being "without a sensible legal platform".

    They said the ban contradicts existing regulation, which makes landing everything caught illegal.

    The ban is part of a new deal on fishing quotas and industry rules that has been reached after negotiations in Brussels.

    Both the Scottish and UK governments have welcomed the deal.

    Much of the discussion around the negotiations centred on how to deal with the ban, which will come into force in January for species such as herring and mackerel, and a year later for cod and haddock.

    Fishing boats will be obliged to land unwanted species caught in their nets.

    The practice of throwing dead fish back into the sea increased because of strict EU quotas on which fish could be landed, part of efforts to conserve fish stocks.

    In 2009, Scottish vessels were forced by the Common Fisheries Policy to discard almost 28,000 tonnes of fish, about a quarter of the white fish catch, valued at £33m.

    The practice was changed after public outcry, reflected in TV shows such as Hugh's Fish Fight, presented by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

    However, speaking to the BBC, Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation, claimed that the ban "was rushed in without consultation" and provided "no legal certainty".

    "We will do our best, of course, to reduce discarding as quickly as possible and as far as possible," he said.

    "But we are angry that a revolution in fishing management is being introduced in this ramshackle way."
    Greater Urgency

    Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "Over the past few weeks and months I have been making a plea for Europe to give greater urgency to preparing for the implementation of the landing obligation (discard ban) and stressing how we must look at developing 21st century tools, and modern management plans, to provide a workable solution to ensure successful implementation of the ban.

    "I am pleased that the need for flexibilities to help prepare for the discard bans in Scotland's complex fisheries are beginning to be acknowledged.

    "And I look forward to continuing discussions on wider management options as we move this year toward the next phase of the ban."

    UK Fisheries Minister George Eustice said the negotiations had been "difficult".

    Mr Eustice represented the UK as a whole in the Brussels talks, while Mr Lochhead represented Scotland, and Northern Ireland's Agriculture Minister also attended.
    Good News

    Both the Scottish and UK governments welcomed the deal, with the latter saying it had secured the "best possible deal".

    The Scottish government hailed its "main wins" as a freeze on proposed cuts to the days when fishermen can go to sea, and gains in key quotas.

    The Brussels deal resulted in increases for North Sea monkfish (20%) and prawns (15%), and West Coast haddock (14%) and monkfish (20%).

    Mr Lochhead said: "It is good news for the fleet."

    He added: "It gives much-needed economic stability not just to them, but to our onshore sector and the coastal communities who depend on the jobs the sector provides."

    The UK government said they had delivered a fair deal for fishermen "striking the right balance between supporting business, and conserving fish stocks to safeguard the future livelihoods of our fishing fleets and their local communities".

    A statement from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) added: "The negotiations were the culmination of months of UK government-led meetings to hear from fishermen, devolved administrations, scientists and environmental NGOs to secure the best possible deal in order to meet our shared goals of a thriving fishing industry, sustainable fish stocks and a healthy marine environment."

  5. #205
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/44-latest-...fair-deal.html

    Eustice claims “fair deal”

    THE UK government has delivered a fair deal for fishermen, according to Fisheries Minister George Eustice, striking the right balance between supporting businesses and conserving fish stocks.

    The Minister's claim follows negotiations at the annual EU Fisheries and Agriculture Council where fishing quotas for 2015 were agreed.

    The government entered negotiations facing challenging proposals from the Commission for precautionary reductions in the quotas of many stocks, but important increases were agreed for many parts of the UK's fishing fleet. This includes increases to cod and haddock in the North Sea, nephrops in the Celtic Sea, sole in the Western Channel and monkfish and haddock in the West of Scotland.

    According to the Minister: "Where the latest scientific evidence supported it we were also able to lobby against unjustifiable cuts proposed by the Commission. Instead we ensured quotas were looked at on a case-by-case basis, achieving a rollover of current 2014 catch levels to provide stability for the fishermen who rely on these species, including skates and rays around the UK.

    "The government also successfully resisted further reductions to days at sea under the cod recovery plan. This will give fishermen the time they need to fish more selectively and avoid discarding perfectly good fish.

    "Finally, despite pressing hard for measures to address declining sea bass levels, we were disappointed not to leave negotiations with an agreement on specific measures to tackle this issue. The UK government has led on action to improve these stocks and has now secured a commitment from the Commission to work with Member States to reduce fishing pressure at the start of the season in 2015."

    He added: "Although these were difficult negotiations, I am pleased that we were able to secure the best possible deal to ensure sustainable fisheries and a strong UK fishing industry."

    Given the start of the pelagic discard ban in January 2015 the UK also ensured next year's total allowable catch took into account the ban on discarding fish, a crucial agreement following UK-led reforms to the Common Fisheries Policy last year. In addition a commitment was obtained from the Commission to undertake research to improve flexibility, allowing fishermen to use quota across regions in light of the discard ban and increased selectivity.

    The UK also successfully negotiated a number of further concessions. These include:

    •Days at sea kept at 2014 levels rather than reduced.

    •Increased quota for fishermen in many areas, including the following:
    •North Sea: 5% cod,15% Nephrops (prawns), 15% plaice
    •North Sea and West Scotland : 6% haddock, 20% angler (monkfish)
    •Irish Sea: Nephrops (prawns) 3%
    •Around the UK: hake 11%

    •Reducing cuts to a number of important fish quotas by providing sound scientific evidence to the Council. Including: •Celtic Sea: 64% cut to cod reduced to 26% and 41% cut to haddock reduced to 12%
    •Eastern Channel: 60% cut to sole reduced to 28%
    •Bristol Channel: 35% cut to sole reduced to 15%

    •As well as maintaining 2014 quotas for a number of stocks, including: •Irish Sea: haddock
    •South West: angler (monkfish), megrim
    •Bristol Channel: plaice
    •North Sea: megrim, dab and flounder, sole and ling

    •And accepting proposals for cuts where necessary to protect stocks, including: •Celtic Sea: 30% cut to herring, 26% cut to cod and 12%
    •North Sea: 5% herring, 15% saithe.

  6. #206
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/scottish-n...onclusion.html

    Discard issues mar council conclusion

    THE Fisheries Council talks to finalise catching opportunities for 2015 concluded in Brussels last night with the agreement on quotas bringing some stability for the Scottish fleet, according to the Scottish Fishermen's Federation (SFF), although huge fears remain over the potential impact of the discard ban.

    The agreement has resulted in increases for West coast haddock (+14%), North Sea prawns (+15%), monkfish (+20%) and megrim (+ 1%), with a drop for West coast prawns (- 7%) and West coast herring (-19%).

    Quotas for other key stocks had been agreed earlier in the month with increases for North Sea cod and haddock and falls for North Sea saithe and whiting.

    Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation, said: "With the majority of stocks of interest to Scottish fishermen either in good health or moving in the right direction, the quotas agreed today deliver an element of short-term stability for much of the Scottish fleet. It is particularly pleasing that for 2015 there will be more catching opportunity for haddock, monkfish, North Sea prawns and North Sea cod. This is helpful for the Scottish fleet and our thanks go to Scottish fishing minister Richard Lochhead and his negotiating team."

    However, the biggest challenge now facing the industry will be the implementation of the discard ban, or landing obligation as it is known. It will come into operation for mackerel and herring fishers on 1 January 2015, with the demersal fleet following the year after. The scheme means that fishermen will have to land all the fish they catch, which will be counted against their quota.

    Mr Armstrong said: "Fishermen hate having to discard and throw perfectly good fish over the side, but we have real fears that the landing obligation will be implemented in a way that will lead to unnecessary damage to the industry. Unbelievably, the present regulations which force fishermen to discard fish – such as the 'minimum landing size' rules – remain in force and there is no legal certainty over whether these regulations or the new ones will prevail.

    "This is well-recognised by the UK and Scottish Governments, who will issue guidance, but the fact remains that the introduction of a revolution in fisheries management has no proper legal foundation. This inevitably makes the industry deeply nervous. It is essential that this is corrected over the coming months – and certainly before the introduction in 2016 of the discard ban for complex mixed fisheries. The industry and Scottish Government have agreed that this is a top priority for 2015."

  7. #207
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/scottish-n...s-outcome.html

    Lochhead pleased with Brussels outcome

    THE Scottish fishing fleet has cause to celebrate, according to Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead, after a freeze on proposed cuts to days at sea and gains in key quotas were agreed at the meeting of the EU fisheries ministers.

    The Brussels deal resulted in quota increases for North Sea monkfish and prawns by 20% and 15%, respectively while West Coast haddock and monkfish quotas will be raised by 14 and 20%.

    Mr Lochhead tweeted: "At last our fishermen are getting a reward for the great work they have done in helping fish stock to recover."

    Speaking after the talks he declared: "Securing a freeze on proposed cuts to days at sea as well as increases in key stocks is welcome news and will help our fishermen with the implementation of the challenging but transformational discard ban which is being phased in from January 2015 onwards.

    "These valuable and timely increases, alongside the increases already secured in past weeks, and the rollover secured on a number of other key species are in line with scientific advice and show that stocks are recovering and the fleet's conservation efforts over the past decade are paying dividends."

  8. #208
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    Europeche President comments on quota agreement

    http://www.fishupdate.com/europeche-...ota-agreement/

    Posted on December 17, 2014 by Tim Siddons • 0 Comments

    COMMENTING on the AGRIFISH Council decisions on fishing opportunities 2015, Javier Garat, President of Europeche, said:

    ‘I welcome the fact that the Council have finally reached a decision on next year’s fishing opportunities, the first time since tough new rules on MSY targets were introduced in the CFP reform.

    ‘The Council have tried to bring a degree of common sense to the exaggerated Commission proposals which were based on a political decision of strict MSY targets, whose threshold gives no weight to the socio-economic factors of fishing.

    ‘The quota cuts this year have been significant but in some cases manageable and we should certainly not forget that overall, fishing mortality has dropped dramatically and stocks are rebuilding, especially across the North East Atlantic.

    ‘Nevertheless, with phase one of the discard ban but two weeks away, this will be a challenging period but I welcome the Council’s pragmatic approach to ensure an acceptable outcome for our fishermen.‘

  9. #209
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    Quota agreement ‘reasonably positive’, say Scottish fishing leaders

    http://www.fishupdate.com/quota-agre...shing-leaders/

    Posted on December 17, 2014 by Tim Siddons • 0 Comments

    TWO of Scotland’s largest fishing organisations have welcomed the outcome of the December Fisheries Council as ‘reasonably positive’ for their members.

    Leaders of the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association (SWFPA) and the Shetland Fishermen’s Association (SFA) also said that they welcomed pressure from the Scottish Government on the European Commission to face up to the practical problems thrown up by the introduction of the discard ban.

    The success at the December Council follows on from that of the EU-Norway negotiations, which delivered increases in total allowable catches (TACs) of both cod and haddock.

    There are now further increases in monkfish (20 per cent), Rockall haddock (113 per cent) and a hard-fought rollover in the amount of ling that can be landed.

    Scottish boats will also benefit from a 50 per cent increase in Greenland halibut and a rollover in the number of days boats can put to sea.

    Chief executive of the SWFPA, Mike Park, said: ‘This has been a reasonably positive December Council for fishermen in Scotland.

    ‘At long last the Commission is beginning to recognise that the discard ban has created more problems than it has solved.

    ‘Up until now, officials have demonstrated little understanding of the practical difficulties and ruinous implications for the fishing industry of the ban.

    ‘They now need to listen to skippers and crewmen who have delivered on their commitment to sustainable fishing – they are the innovators who can find ways to secure a strong future for environmentally-responsible fisheries.

    ‘We hope now that the Scottish Government will convince the UK and other member states around the North Sea basin of the huge importance of setting out a path of delivery that both promotes and protects fishing businesses.’

    SFA executive officer, Simon Collins, said: ‘Over and above details of quotas for next year, the Commission needs to shoulder its responsibilities on implementing the discard ban.

    ‘Industry has been playing its part with trials and a range of positive suggestions to create a 21st century management regime.

    ‘We welcome the fact that the Scottish Government is taking up these themes with the Commission and other Member States.

    ‘The Commission must now respond with its own positive contribution. Pushing ahead blindly with the failed management systems of the past is not an option.’

    Mr Park added: ‘We would also like environmental NGOs and celebrity chefs who supported the discard ban to work with us on finding solutions rather than reverting to simplistic slogans and confrontational behaviour.

    ‘For instance, community law has to be adequately changed to fit and support every aspect of the discard ban otherwise we will end up with chaos. This is a process that requires focused thought, not cheap rhetoric.‘

  10. #210
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    SFF: Fishermen welcome quotas, but fear discard ban

    http://www.fishupdate.com/sff-fisher...r-discard-ban/

    Posted on December 17, 2014 by Tim Siddons • 0 Comments

    THE Fisheries Council talks to finalise catching opportunity for 2015 concluded in Brussels last night, with the agreement on quotas bringing some stability for the Scottish fleet – although huge fears remain over the potential impact of the discard ban.

    The agreement has resulted in increases for West coast haddock (+14%), North Sea prawns (+15%), monkfish (+20%) and megrim (+ 1%), with a drop for West coast prawns (- 7%) and West coast herring (-19%).

    Quotas for other key stocks had been agreed earlier in the month with increases for North Sea cod and haddock and falls for North Sea saithe and whiting.

    Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said: ‘With the majority of stocks of interest to Scottish fishermen either in good health or moving in the right direction, the quotas agreed today deliver an element of short-term stability for much of the Scottish fleet.

    ‘It is particularly pleasing that for 2015 there will be more catching opportunity for haddock, monkfish, North Sea prawns and North Sea cod.

    ‘This is helpful for the Scottish fleet and our thanks go to Scottish fishing minister, Richard Lochhead, and his negotiating team.‘

    However, the biggest challenge now facing the industry will be the implementation of the discard ban, or landing obligation as it is known.

    It will come into operation for mackerel and herring fishers on 1 January 2015, with the demersal fleet following the year after.

    The scheme means that fishermen will have to land all the fish they catch, which will be counted against their quota.

    Mr Armstrong said: ‘Fishermen hate having to discard and throw perfectly good fish over the side, but we have real fears that the landing obligation will be implemented in a way that will lead to unnecessary damage to the industry.

    ‘Unbelievably, the present regulations which force fishermen to discard fish – such as the ‘minimum landing size’ rules – remain in force and there is no legal certainty over whether these regulations or the new ones will prevail.

    ‘This is well-recognised by the UK and Scottish Governments, who will issue guidance, but the fact remains that the introduction of a revolution in fisheries management has no proper legal foundation.

    ‘This inevitably makes the industry deeply nervous. It is essential that this is corrected over the coming months – and certainly before the introduction in 2016 of the discard ban for complex mixed fisheries. The industry and Scottish Government have agreed that this is a top priority for 2015.‘

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