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  1. #21
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    http://news.stv.tv/north/245220-fish...over-mackerel/

    New fisheries minister meets skippers amid row over mackerel quotas

    The new fisheries minister George Eustice has met skippers, as an international dispute over mackerel catches continues.

    Mr Eustice has been in the job for two weeks and visited Peterhead on Thursday.

    He was accompanied by Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael, and met industry leaders while he was in Scotland.

    It was the first visit he's made to a regional area.

    Mr Eustice said: "I'm from Cornwall, I'm not just some London MP, I'm from Cornwall, we've got a fishing industry.

    "We know a thing or two about fishing down in Cornwall as well, and I know all the challenges fishermen face.

    "There's a lot of similarities and I'm going to be a champion for this industry."

    Fishing leaders stressed that, despite cuts in recent years, catching fish still nets half a billion pounds for the Scottish economy.

    Bertie Armstrong, from the Scottish Fisherman's Federation said: "We are the heavyweight, further reaching, big tonnage,big economic input part of the industry, so we're glad he's here.

    "There are many issues to be dealt with, we're working our way through thesewith him but the first thing we would recognise is his willing visit here first off and talked to us, we're delighted by it."

    The long running dispute over mackerel was high on the agenda.

    Talks held in London between EU officials and representatives from Iceland and the Faroe Islands broke up on Thursday.

    Click on the link to STV to see the video, Davie

  2. #22
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/scottish-n...l-impasse.html

    SCOTTISH Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead has expressed his frustration after the Coastal States negotiations in London concluded without a deal being reached, although he also feels that progress is being made.

    Speaking yesterday evening, he said: "This is clearly frustrating but unlike previous discussions the talks were held in a constructive manner against a backdrop of ICES advice that recommends a significant increase in next year's Total allowable Catches. We need to ensure any agreement has Scotland's interest at its heart and providing stability in an international fishery is important. We are optimistic of a deal being reached but we remain clear it will not be at any price.

    "There was agreement that more focus must be made on a cooperative approach to data gathering and scientific research and that ICES should consider this issue further and make recommendations at its benchmark meeting on mackerel in February of next year. Participants all felt that a clear platform had been created for talks to continue in seeking a resolution to this on-going international dispute. These are due to be scheduled again in the coming weeks."

  3. #23
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    http://news.stv.tv/north/246286-catc...ots-fishermen/

    Catch allowances for 2014 branded 'a mixed bag' by Scots fishermen

    Proposed catch allowances for fishing boats in the Atlantic and North Sea have been branded a "mixed bag" by Scottish fishermen.

    The European Commission released its proposed levels for total allowable catch (TAC) on Wednesday, recommending restrictions on numbers of cod, haddock and whiting that fishermen are allowed to catch.

    In its report, the Commission said that lower catch allowances were necessary because of the "dire state" of cod stocks in the Irish Sea and cod and whiting populations off the west of Scotland that were "at risk of collapse".

    Other TACs have been increased, with herring, hake and megrim all seeing proposed raises.

    The proposals will be discussed by ministers at the December Fisheries Council and will apply from January 1, 2014.

    Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said: "These catch proposals contain a mixed bag of news, with increases for some stocks and reductions in others.

    "However, against the background of continuing recovery for the majority of fish stocks of interest to Scottish fishermen, these are initial proposals that will be subject to further discussion between member states, the industry, and the European Commission.

    "It is of concern that still on the table are proposed further cuts in effort – however these are part of the widely discredited Cod Plan which is currently under discussion for being revised and turned around."

    Mr Armstrong said it was "essential" that there were no more cuts in the amount of fishing days vessels can spend at sea, saying the fleet was "already pushed to the limit on effort and simply cannot sustain any more cuts".

    He added: “It is vital that the final management plan agreed for 2014 achieves the sensible balance of maintaining the positive trend of stock recovery whilst ensuring the continuation of a viable fishing fleet that puts the seafood on our tables.”

  4. #24
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    http://www.sff.co.uk/node/880

    EC catch proposals underline need for sensible balance of catch measures

    30th October 2013

    Commenting on today’s (30 October) proposals from the European Commission for fishing opportunities for 2014 for some stocks in the Atlantic and North Sea, Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said:

    “These catch proposals contain a mixed bag of news, with increases for some stocks and reductions in others. However, against the background of continuing recovery for the majority of fish stocks of interest to Scottish fishermen, these are initial proposals that will be subject to further discussion between member states, the industry, and the European Commission.

    “It is of concern that still on the table are proposed further cuts in effort – however these are part of the widely discredited Cod Plan which is currently under discussion for being revised and turned around. It is essential there are no more cuts in the amount of fishing days vessels can spend at sea as the fleet is already pushed to the limit on effort and simply cannot sustain any more cuts. Indeed, fishing pressure has fallen steadily and significantly since 2000 on both the West coast of Scotland and North Sea.

    “The total allowable catch recommendations issued by the EC today are only for some stocks and do not include shared stocks with other nations such as Norway, which will be decided upon at a later date. These will include stocks of crucial interest to Scottish fishermen such as North Sea haddock and cod.

    “It is vital that the final management plan agreed for 2014 achieves the sensible balance of maintaining the positive trend of stock recovery whilst ensuring the continuation of a viable fishing fleet that puts the seafood on our tables.”

  5. #25
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    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release....htm?locale=en

    Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2014

    The European Commission has today proposed fishing opportunities for 2014 for the Atlantic and the North Sea, as well as in international waters. This is the annual proposal for the amount of fish which can be caught by EU fishermen from the main commercial fish stocks next year. The proposal sets levels of total allowable catch (TAC) and fishing effort both for stocks managed exclusively by the EU, and for stocks managed with third countries such as Norway or through Regional Fisheries Management Organisations across the world's oceans.

    International negotiations for many of the stocks concerned are still on-going. The proposal therefore only includes figures for about half of the TACs at this stage. It will be completed once negotiations with third parties and organisations have taken place.

    For the stocks not shared with third countries, the Commission proposes to increase or maintain the TACs for 36 stocks, and reduce them for 36 stocks, in line with the scientific advice.

    The Commission's ultimate goal, and one of the pillars of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), is to have all stocks fished at sustainable levels, the so-called Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY). Whenever possible, the scientists advise how to bring the stocks to MSY levels. This year, the so-called "MSY advice" could be issued for 22 EU stocks. This is a significant step forward as far as the availability and quality of scientific data are concerned.

    Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: "The Commission proposal contains good news for some stocks, while some cuts are required for others. Overall, our knowledge of many stocks has improved which enables sound management decisions to be made. For stocks where negotiations are on-going we will, as ever, make every effort to obtain the best outcome for our fishermen. We hope that our partners and the international community will mirror our commitment to sustainable fisheries."

    The present proposal shall be discussed by the Member States' ministers at the December Fisheries Council and will apply from 1 January 2014.

    Details of the proposal

    For some EU stocks at MSY, such as herring in the Irish Sea, Northern hake, Megrims in Iberian waters or plaice in the Celtic Sea TACs can be raised.

    At the same time, for some stocks in a poor state, the picture has unfortunately not greatly improved since last year. Cod stocks in the Irish Sea and the Kattegat continue to be in a dire state, and the poor data hampers the management of these stocks. Sole in the Irish Sea is at extremely low levels. Advice for haddock in the Celtic Sea demands a considerable TAC cut, so that the stock can be brought to MSY levels. Cod and whiting in the West of Scotland, subject to extremely high rates of discarding, are at a risk of collapse.

    For stocks where data is not good enough to properly estimate their size, the Commission proposal reflects the advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) to adapt the TAC up or down by a maximum of 20%. Following a Council decision last year on precautionary reductions, TACS are proposed at the same level as in 2013 for 21 of these stocks.

    For a limited number of EU stocks, the scientific advice has been received only recently, or it will be released later this month. For these stocks, the advice needs to be further analysed before a TAC figure will be proposed, later in the autumn.

    For fish stocks shared with third countries (Norway, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Russia), the European Commission, on behalf of the EU, negotiates towards the end of each year with these countries on the quantities of fish to be caught the following year, based on scientific advice.

    For the stocks in international waters and for highly migratory species, such as tuna, the European Commission, representing the EU, negotiates fishing opportunities in the framework of Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs). These must subsequently be transposed into EU law.

  6. #26
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/scottish-n...ntentions.html

    Armstrong questions cod intentions

    BERTIE Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen's Federation, has greeted the European Commission's proposals for fishing opportunities for next year with limited enthusiasm, expressing his concern for cod TACs.

    Speaking after the announcement on October 30, he said: "These catch proposals contain a mixed bag of news, with increases for some stocks and reductions in others. However, against the background of continuing recovery for the majority of fish stocks of interest to Scottish fishermen, these are initial proposals that will be subject to further discussion between member states, the industry, and the European Commission.

    "It is of concern that still on the table are proposed further cuts in effort – however these are part of the widely discredited Cod Plan which is currently under discussion for being revised and turned around. It is essential there are no more cuts in the amount of fishing days vessels can spend at sea as the fleet is already pushed to the limit on effort and simply cannot sustain any more cuts. Indeed, fishing pressure has fallen steadily and significantly since 2000 on both the West coast of Scotland and North Sea.

    "The total allowable catch recommendations issued by the EC today are only for some stocks and do not include shared stocks with other nations such as Norway, which will be decided upon at a later date. These will include stocks of crucial interest to Scottish fishermen such as North Sea haddock and cod.

    "It is vital that the final management plan agreed for 2014 achieves the sensible balance of maintaining the positive trend of stock recovery whilst ensuring the continuation of a viable fishing fleet that puts the seafood on our tables."

  7. #27
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/scottish-n...tac-plans.html

    THE Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson has expressed his hope that the EMFF might be able to support those fishermen who are set to suffer should European Commission has announced new levels of Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for different fish in the Atlantic and North Sea.

    Stevenson, who is also fisheries spokesman for the European Conservatives and Reformists Group and Senior Vice-President of the Fisheries Committee, said: "Following the agreement on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy basic regulation, all commercial stocks will have to be fished at above Maximum Sustainable Yield levels by 2020.

    "There is now no alternative but to follow scientific advice in an effort to achieve this objective. However, hopefully we will be able to provide more financial support under the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund for improved science, particularly where any stock is data deficient.

    "The fact that the Commission will issue so-called 'MSY advice' on 22 stocks this year, where they have reached sustainable fishing levels, demonstrates how quickly we are progressing towards these goals, all of which points to a better future for fishermen."

  8. #28
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    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fulls...iscarding.html

    'Saving our Fish' needs more than a ban on discarding



    Banning the practice of throwing unmarketable or over-quota fish back into the sea is just one of the measures needed to deliver sustainable fisheries according to new research from the University of East Anglia,

    Research carried out by UEA with the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and published today in the journal Fisheries Research reveals that a ban will only help future fish stocks if it is accompanied by other measures to reduce total fishing mortality.

    Approximately half of the fish caught in marine fisheries are thrown back into the sea, but very few survive. The practice has bedevilled politicians, fisheries managers, scientists and fishermen for many years.

    The move to ban discarding has gained widespread public support through the campaigning efforts of supermarkets, pressure groups, chefs including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and other celebrities such as the band Coldplay and the comedian Ricky Gervais. The new European Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) which is expected to enter into force in 2014 intends to ban the wasteful practice for all quota stocks by 2019.

    The research team combined information on landings by English trawlers in the North Sea with data on discards collected by onboard observers. They then used this data to assess how a discard ban will impact the catches and profits of different segments of the fleet.

    Key findings:

    - A discard ban alone may not reduce unwanted catches.

    - A ban in isolation does not create a strong incentive for selective fishing.

    - Catch quotas (where all fish caught are counted against a limit) create strong incentives to avoid regulated species, but not other species.

    - Profits of some parts of the fleet may be hit unless catch quotas are set differentially.

    - Vessels catching the least fish may see the largest profit declines under catch quotas.

    Lead researcher Harriet Condie, from UEA’s school of Environmental Sciences, said: “We took into account data such as catch and discard figures from fishing trawlers, fish prices and landing costs, to calculate whether banning the practice of discarding will offer enough of an economic incentive to fish sustainably.

    “The most important measure to safe-guard over-exploited fish stocks is to reduce the number of individuals being caught. But our research shows that a discard ban in isolation may not result in a dramatic reduction in unmarketable catches of all species.

    “If all fish have to be landed, we will get better information on exactly how many fish of each species are being caught and the state of fish stocks. But the fact that fish can no longer be thrown back into the sea will not automatically make their exploitation any more sustainable because we show that there is no significant incentive to avoid catching them.

    “We went on to investigate whether a discard ban in conjunction with different management scenarios would work – such as reducing fishing effort and limiting the amount of fish that can be landed.

    “We found that a ban combined with catch quotas has the greatest potential to incentivise more selective fishing, but only for regulated species such as cod, haddock and plaice.

    “Experience from elsewhere in the world shows that discard bans are only effective if they are enforced by high levels of surveillance or there are economic benefits from landing fish that are currently discarded. But neither of these options is straightforward as policing fisheries is expensive and economic incentives can encourage increased catches of unwanted fish,” she added.

    Prof Alastair Grant, who supervised the work, said: “As welcome as the public’s awareness about discarding may be, our research shows that a move towards the sustainable management of European fish stocks will require more than just a discard ban as the landing of all fish does not itself make exploitation more sustainable.

    “A fish that is landed and turned into fishmeal makes as little contribution to future generations as one that is thrown back into the sea dead. The biggest challenge is to reduce fishing mortality, and national and international politics have always made that politically difficult to achieve.”

    Thomas Catchpole from Cefas said: “Choosing the right measures can be complicated and sufficient time is required to allow fishermen to adjust to a new management approach.

    “The recently agreed reforms to the Common Fisheries Policy took years to secure but the policy now includes a phased introduction of a discard ban (completed by 2019) and legally binding commitments to set quotas at levels that achieve maximum sustainable yields of commercial fish stocks. In the interim governments have funded research to quantify and redress the impact of discarding. Catch-quota trials have been funded as have projects to design and use more selective fishing nets.

    “A catch quota system provides the potential to remove many of the technical regulations currently in place, which will give fishermen increased flexibility in how they operate their businesses. This will be helped by decentralising the management of European fisheries and using a more regional approach, which was another agreed aspect of the reformed CFP.”

    ‘Does banning discards in an otter trawler fishery create incentives for more selective fishing?’ by Harriet M, Condie, Alastair Grant, and Thomas L. Catchpole, is published in the journal Fisheries Research on November 11, 2013. The research was funded by the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

  9. #29
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    Gearing up for Fish Quota negotiations for 2014:

    The European Commission has published its proposals for 2014 fish quotas in cases where advice has been given by the ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Seas) based in Denmark.
    Where advice has not yet been given a further announcement will be made.
    These proposals must, of course be ratified or amended by the Council of Ministers when they meet in Brussels on 16th and 17th December.
    At that meeting the fishing industry will lobby, usually for more.
    Environmentalists and outspoken critics such as Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall will no doubt lobby the other way.
    For UK fishermen in the Channel and SW there are some nuggets of welcome, but mostly it is a dismal forecast.
    Such is also the case in most sea areas around the UK.
    Notable "good news" is the proposed increase in Hake quota rising by 49% and Bristol Channel Plaice up by 20% after many years of decline.
    Herring and Sprats in the Channel suffer no change, but the Sprats fishers in Brixham have reported bumper catches so had hoped for
    an increase.
    Anglerfish too will stay the same for another year.
    Unwelcome are the proposed massive 75% cut to Channel Haddock, 45% cut in east channel Sole, 33% cut in channel Cod, 17% cut in channel Plaice and 7% cut to west channel Sole.
    The industry will find these proposals difficult to swallow.
    They have endured fleet cuts amounting to 65% of all boats scrapped over the decade of the previous CFP. Brixham lost a lot of Beam Trawlers as part of the long-term management plan for Sole that is now fished within safe biological limits. It is better than MSY, yet the 7% cut is based simply on "precaution" since there is not enough scientific evidence about recent recruitment.
    SWFPO Chief Executive, Jim Portus said,
    "I will lobby hard, but not without due cause. The mortality and biomass indicators for Sole and Plaice are at the best they have been for decades. The industry should not be made to suffer based on "precaution" simply because of cut-backs to scientific voyages. The fishermen have done their level best to modify nets to improve selectivity and to reduce significantly the amounts discarded. These initiatives should be rewarded, not punished.
    I have had one meeting already with westcountry MP, George Eustice who is now Fisheries Minister. I meet him again on 21st November with other Producer Organisation colleagues and I will be part of the UK industry delegation to Brussels in December.
    "I will ask in the strongest terms that decisions are made based on firm not shaky evidence and that due account is taken of the self-imposed selectivity initiatives that we know are working for the good of the stocks and for the economic well-being of the UK channel ports.

    ENDS

    Best fishes,

    Jim.
    Contact on 07860542071.

  10. #30
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    MINISTER COVENEY KICKSTARTS IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW COMMON FISHERIES POLICY

    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fulls...ES_POLICY.html



    Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today appointed Dr Noel Cawley to chair a national Discards Implementation Group. The introduction of a new policy that ends the wasteful practice of discarding fish at sea is a key part of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy which was successfully negotiated to conclusion under the Irish presidency earlier this year.

    Minister Coveney said “I am delighted that Dr. Cawley, with his deep knowledge of the Irish fishing industry, has agreed to chair a national Discards Implementation Group that will ensure that the Irish fishing industry are fully prepared for, and engaged in, the implementation of the discards ban.” The Minister added “I know that the experience that Dr. Cawley will bring to bear on the practical issues surrounding the phasing in of the discards ban will ensure that the Irish fishing industry will be fully prepared for this fundamental reform in fishing practices”.

    In a further practical step in the implementation of the new CFP, Minister Coveney also hosted the first meeting of the North Western Waters Regional Group of Member States. This group of Member States (Ireland, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Spain and the UK) has come together to develop the possibilities for more co-operation and regional decision making under the new CFP.

    Minister Coveney said “I was determined that Ireland would take the lead in hosting the first meeting of this Regional Group. This is the mechanism under the reformed CFP which will allow us get to real regional decision making and gets us away from the ‘one size fits all’ that sometimes characterised CFP decision making in the past. It is through this group which will work in close association with stakeholders that decisions affecting Irelands fishermen may be taken in the future and it is vital that we are at the heart of this new decision making process. The work of Dr. Cawley’s group will be central to ensuring that the practical issues around the introduction of a discards ban, as identified by the Irish fishing industry, will be developed into long term sustainable management tools that will safeguard the future of our coastal fishing communities”.

    Under the regionalisation provisions, decision making can be decentralised from Brussels and future management arrangements will instead be decided together by relevant Member States. It is this Group, working with stakeholders in the Advisory Council’s that will in the future manage fisheries in the water where Ireland has quotas.

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