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  1. #31
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    COVENEY WELCOMES CRUCIAL INTERNATIONAL NEGOTIATIONS ON € 1 BILLION MACKEREL INDUSTRY

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



    Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Simon Coveney TD today welcomed the start of crucial international negotiations on mackerel quotas for the North East Atlantic. The negotiations are being hosted by Ireland in the National Seafood Centre in Clonakilty, County Cork.

    Minister Coveney said that “I am very pleased that Ireland is hosting these negotiations. Mackerel is the single most important stock for the Irish fleet and the value of the international mackerel industry has been estimated at €1 billion annually to the parties. We need to secure agreement at international level on management arrangements for this stock. I very much hope that a fair and balanced agreement can be reached this week at what I am sure will be intensive and tough talks.”

    The aim of the negotiations is to try and reach agreement on the sharing arrangements for mackerel between the EU, Norway, Iceland & the Faeroes islands. The Russian Federation and Greenland will also participate as observers. Up to 70 international delegates are expected in West Cork for the week long negotiations.
    Minister Coveney went on to say “From an Irish perspective, I have never accepted the irresponsible behaviour of both Iceland and the Faeroe Islands, who have engaged in unacceptable unilateral fishing of the shared mackerel stock over the past number of years. That said, let me be clear, I want an agreement this week, just not at any cost. Iceland and Faeroes are entitled to a fair and justifiable share but any new agreement must also protect the interests of EU Member States, like Ireland, who have relied on this fishery for over 40 years.”

    At last month’s Council meeting of Fisheries Ministers, Minister Coveney outlined his view that any new offer to Iceland must be jointly agreed with Norway on the basis of equal burden sharing and that Iceland should not be granted access to EU waters as a part of any deal. The Minister also expressed his support for an initiative from the European Pelagic industry. Minster Coveney said today that “I consider that the industry initiative, involving a tiered approach with different percentage shares for each of the parties depending upon the scientific advice on the size of the stock, might form the basis for a balanced and equitable agreement. Ireland will continue to work closely with the Commission, who negotiate on behalf of the EU, and other Member States with a significant interest in the fishery at the negotiations in the National Seafood Centre, Clonakilty with a view to finding a solution acceptable to all.”

  2. #32
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    http://www.fishingforthetruth.co.uk/...a-cuts-case-2/

    New evidence sinks cod quota-cuts case

    Posted on November 18, 2013 by fishing4thetruth in Cod

    The below article appeared in the Press & Journal newspaper on 18 November, 2013

    Quota cuts imposed to save cod from extinction could actually be harming the North Sea – because the species is now so strong it is eating too many other fish.

    Boats have been tied up and fishermen forced out of work by catch restrictions imposed by fears that stocks were perilously low.

    Trawlers are again facing EU proposals to cut the amount they are allowed to catch. But today, the Press & Journal can reveal the evidence being given to the European Commission from the world’s top marine scientists makes no mention of a cod shortage.

    In fact, the report from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) talks about an “abundance” of the species in the North Sea. And because cod is top of the food chain, its growing presence is having an impact on haddock, herring and whiting numbers, according to scientists.

    An increasing number of sandeels – the staple diet of Scotland’s seabirds – are also been eaten.

    The paper has emerged just days after the Marine Conservation Society told consumers not to eat North Sea cod.

    But last night, fishing leaders said consumers could eat the fish “with a clear conscience”.

    Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said the paper was evidence that the Scottish fleet’s conservation efforts had worked.

    “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 Moray MSP said.

    “North Sea cod is recovering and is fished within international limits and will not be harmed if people eat fish caught by Scottish fishermen.”

    ICES – which advises the European Commission on fish stocks – says “virtually all species are strongly affected by the abundance of cod and saithe”, which are the main predator species.

    “Changing management target fishing mortality for cod and saithe, therefore influences the yield of other stocks more than the management targets for these other stocks,” it said.

    “Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, said: “As our knowledge of marine ecosystems increases it is more apparent than ever that species’ interactions are incredibly complex and inevitably, if a predatory fish such as cod increases in stock biomass – as is currently happening – there will be an impact on the populations of its prey items, which include other fish and shellfish.

    “This is the challenge that fisheries managers face when making decisions on catching opportunity and achieving a sensible balance between fish stocks. Indeed, there may even be the need in the future to fish harder for predatory species such as cod to ensure that this desirable balance is achieved.

    “Interestingly, cod prey upon sandeels and the recent poor breeding success of our precious seabird populations in Scotland, many of which rely upon sandeels for food, could well be down to an increase in cod affecting sandeel numbers.”

    The Press & Journal sent the ICES paper to the Marine Conservation Society, which last week kept cod on its list of “fish to avoid”.

    Jim Masters – the group’s fisheries programme manager – said yesterday that the organisation was standing by its advice.

    “The Marine Conservation Society currently uses a methodology for rating fish stocks based on the best available science for single-stock assessments, the same scientific advice that is used to set quotas,” he said.

    “The science shows that cod stocks in the North Sea have only now, after years of restrictions and hard work from the fishing industry, just come up to precautionary limits.”

  3. #33
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    http://www.sff.co.uk/node/888

    FISHING OPPORTUNITY FOR THE SCOTTISH FLEET – 2014

    9th December 2013

    The normal process – a short reminder

    The setting of “fishing opportunity” – tonnages of fish in the form of Total Allowable Catches (TACs), and time to catch it in allocated days at sea happens in an annual cycle. Each year the surveying, data collection and analysis activity results in the late-summer scientific advice on stock health and on what tonnages may be fished in the following year for each of the species subject to quota. Also, every summer the European Commission issues a policy statement about how it intends to approach opportunity setting for that year. The first-cut proposals are produced by the Commission in the autumn for the species that are fished exclusively by the EU Member States. Over the autumn and winter period International negotiations take place, principally with Norway and also with Iceland and Faeroes, for stocks of mutual interest. The International negotiations are very important to the Scottish fleet, setting such highly significant opportunities as the primary whitefish stocks for the North Sea, and north east Atlantic mackerel. The whole package is normally sealed at the December Council of Ministers – being held this year on the 16th and 17th.

    This year – it’s different

    However, things have not followed the usual pattern this year. The policy statement and the advice have appeared as usual, but the International negotiations of most importance to the Scottish industry have stalled on the continued failure, despite consistent efforts, to reach an accommodation between the EU, Norway, Iceland and Faeroes on the matter of north east Atlantic mackerel. This is important enough to be the critical path and, discounting an unexpected breakthrough, this will hang up decision-making on parts of the whole package until the early part of 2014. The practical effect of this will be the stocks jointly managed in the North Sea by the EU and Norway (there are 7 cod, haddock, saithe, North Sea herring, North Sea mackerel, saithe and whiting) will not have their proper TACs agreed until after the beginning of the year of usage; access into the Norwegian zone for EU vessels and vice-versa for Norwegian vessels. This is not unprecedented – last year the EU/Norway agreement was not signed until the end of January, but the failure again this year is not at all helpful.

    December Council will therefore deal with those stocks that are fished exclusively by EU Member States – for example those for the West of Scotland, Nephrops and monkfish both east and west. This will be important, but only a portion of the arrangements for 2014.

    Also of great importance will be the discussions anticipated on effort control or days at sea. The limitations apply to those vessels catching cod and the Commission will very soon issue a proposal for discussion in the very limited time available. The allocations come from the fatally discredited Plan for Cod, and are simply formulaic, depending on the calculated level of fishing mortality. The failure of the plan has been to become completely disproportionate in reducing effort, well beyond the point of beneficial effect. An effort freeze was applied at December Council last year. This must happen again this year.

    The CFP reform dimension

    The CFP reform element that is in place already is the move towards “Maximum Sustainable Yield” and the progressive landing obligations (the “Discard Ban”) are just round the corner. The first of these is driving reductions in fishing mortality that has been incorporated into the proposal made for this year’s proposals. This translates into above average reductions in opportunity and the essential feature of discussions will be to ensure that management measures in pursuit of MSY are not self-defeating in simply increasing discards in mixed fisheries.

    Negotiating Priorities:

    December
    Effort Freeze
    Equitable outcome for those TACs which can be set at December Council
    New Year
    Equitable solution to NE Atlantic mackerel – not a deal at any price
    Earliest completion of the negotiations for fishing opportunity for 2014

    Bertie Armstrong

  4. #34
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    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/n...-ends-discards

    New Common Fisheries Policy deal ends discards

    A new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) was agreed by the EU Parliament today and will come into force on 1 January 2014. The new CFP will radically transform fishing practices in Europe.



    An historic deal to reform the broken Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) has today been agreed by the EU Parliament and will become law on 1 January 2014.

    The final deal follows more than three years of difficult negotiations, in which the UK took the lead to secure significant reform of the fundamentally flawed current CFP.

    The new Common Fisheries Policy will radically transform fishing practices in Europe. Reforms include:

    A ban on the wasteful practice of discarding perfectly edible fish
    A legally binding commitment to fishing at sustainable levels
    Decentralised decision making, allowing Member States to agree the measures appropriate to their fisheries

    Fisheries Minister George Eustice said:

    The long fight to reform the broken Common Fisheries Policy and end the shameful practice of perfectly good fish being thrown dead back into the sea has been won.

    Today’s vote signifies a new chapter for the CFP that will make fishing more sustainable, will end the centralised one-size-fits-all approach to decision making and will make discards a thing of the past.

    Throughout the negotiations the government fought for a commitment to firm dates to ban discards. Now that the reformed CFP has passed its final vote a ban on discarding in ‘pelagic’ fisheries (such as mackerel and herring) will take effect on 1 January 2015 with a further ban on discards in other fisheries starting from 1 Jan 2016.

    The new laws will also allow countries to work together regionally to implement measures appropriate to their own fisheries, rather than be subject to ineffective micro-management from Brussels. This ‘regionalisation’ process has been a top negotiating priority for the UK government which built support for reforms to replace the over-centralised system that currently hinders progress in our fisheries.

    The vote also secures for the first time, a legally binding commitment to fishing at sustainable levels. This will ensure annual quotas will be underpinned by scientific advice, to achieve healthy fish stocks and a prosperous fishing industry. This commitment and the ‘regionalisation’ process will both come into force from 1 January 2014. The UK’s priorities for a number of stocks at next week’s EU Fisheries Council will be strongly influenced by the forthcoming legal commitment to fish sustainably, as well as ending wasteful discarding.

    Mr Eustice added:

    This vote marks a significant milestone and is a testament to the hard work that went into securing the much needed reform of a broken policy.

    But our work is not over. We will continue to work with fishermen to help them adjust to the new reforms so that the transition is as smooth as possible.

    Next week I will be representing the UK at the EU Fisheries Council. Here I will continue to ensure the UK leads the way in supporting environmentally and economically sustainable fisheries, in line with the reformed CFP coming into force in January."

  5. #35
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    http://www.sff.co.uk/node/889

    Aspirations of new CFP give little thought to how the law might work

    10th December 2013


    With one of the final votes taking place in the European Parliament today (10 December) that will lead to the new Common Fisheries Policy coming into force, the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) is warning that the new CFP has some fundamental flaws.

    Three of the core principles of the new CFP are enhanced regional control, a ban on discards (land-all obligation) and a move towards the concept of ‘Maximum Sustainable Yield’ (the largest catch that can be taken from a stock over an indefinite period).

    Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the SFF, said: “This all sounds like common sense, with much to celebrate. Nobody, including the European fishing industries, contests these general core objectives. But unfortunately, the reformed CFP has failed completely to demonstrate any understanding of the difference between political aspirations and sensible regulation.

    “The new CFP is an EU regulation requiring no further implementing measures. In other words, it is the law. If it were a directive, Member States would have leeway in how to achieve workable results and intelligent management measures. But we are now in the situation where the improbable and in some cases the impossible has been enshrined in law.

    “Greater regional control is something that the fishing industry has been pressing for over many years because the centralised micro-management from Brussels was at the heart of the failure of the previous CFP.

    “But whilst the principle of regional control has been agreed, ‘exclusive competence’ - in other words control in Brussels - remains enshrined in the Treaties. Without a highly unlikely change in these Treaties, regional control will be restricted to advice-giving, and never decision-making, which takes us back to right where we are now. While we will do everything in our power to make this work, there are real fears in the fishing industry that the controlling hand of Brussels will still have a big say in the way that our fisheries are managed.

    “Similarly, discards are supported by nobody, least of all the fishing industry, but at the moment there is absolutely no indication on how a discards ban could be implemented. The aspiration is all very well, but trying to develop a workable management regime, especially in the complex mixed stock fisheries that exist around our coasts, is an unbelievably difficult challenge. If it is not done right and without the right degree of flexibility, then the economic implications for our fishing fleet could be disastrous.

    “Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) is another laudable intention, but the way it is now enshrined in the regulation is scientifically impossible. How do you achieve MSY for each individual species when within the real-life complexities of the marine ecosystem various stocks are interacting and predating upon each other?

    “The reform of the CFP has been a political process and we are stuck with it. Regrettably it is, in many respects, bad law. There is a huge amount to do now to put it into sensible practice. Our fisheries ministers will have to be brave if they are not to preside over the demise of the industries for which they have responsibility. They will now have to deliver workable plans that will protect our industry and ensure a sustainable future for fishing.”

  6. #36
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/component/...sea-fleet.html

    THE European Parliament has rejected a proposal to phase out deep-sea bottom trawling and gill-netting in the Northeast Atlantic today, but endorsed other measures to reform some of the rules that govern deep-sea fishing.

    The proposal was narrowly defeated by a vote of 342 to 326, having been originally put forward by the European Commission and supported by Parliament's Environment Committee, but rejected by its Fisheries Committee. The Parliament did, however, approve a fisheries agreement between the EU and Morocco which, according to Greenpeace, will further fuel overfishing of some stocks and opens the door to fishing in the waters of the occupied territory of Western Sahara.

    Greenpeace EU fisheries policy adviser, Justine Maillot, said: "The European Parliament's approach to deep-sea fishing is at best half-hearted. It failed to ban the devastating and indiscriminate practice of bottom trawling. It is astonishing that subsidised fishing vessels can continue to plough the seafloor with monster nets that crush everything in their path."

    "It is a sad day for deep-sea life," said Matthew Gianni, policy advisor to the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition and The Pew Charitable Trusts. "The European Parliament came close but ultimately could not find the resolve to phase out deep-sea bottom trawling, one of the most destructive fishing practices. None the less, a number of the measures agreed to by the Parliament today would, if effectively implemented, help limit the damage to deep-sea ecosystems."

    According to Greenpeace, deep-sea ecosystems are among the most vulnerable on the planet and the charity argues that bottom trawling smashes corals and indiscriminately sweeps up many creatures that are not part of the target catch. Without subsidies, deep-sea trawling would be unprofitable. Comparatively few fishermen in France, Spain and Portugal specialise in deep-sea fishing with trawls, yet their impact is disproportionately large.

    In a separate vote, the European Parliament endorsed a new fisheries agreement between the EU and Morocco, the biggest between the EU and any other country both in terms of its monetary value and the total amount of fish that can be caught. Its adoption has been controversial, says Greenpeace, because the deal covers fishing grounds off the coast of the occupied territory of Western Sahara and was negotiated without consulting or respecting the rights and interest of the Sahrawi people.

    Maillot added: "Fish like mackerel, sardines and sardinella are important species for communities along the coast of the entire West African region. Except for sardine stocks, most of them are already fished to, or even beyond, sustainable limits. Increasing the EU catch in the waters of Morocco and Western Sahara will lead to overfishing and conflict with the needs and interests of local people."

    In December 2011, the European Parliament rejected a temporary extension of a previous deal with Morocco. Consequently, no EU-registered vessels had been allowed to fish in the waters of Morocco and Western Sahara since January 2012.

    The Parliament also formally concluded the reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy by adopting the new Regulations on fisheries management and the marketing of seafood products, as agreed with Council in May 2013.

  7. #37
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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotlan...tland-25308303

    Common Fisheries Policy 'remains fundamentally flawed' despite deal

    The European Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) remains "fundamentally flawed" despite an agreement on reforms, Scottish fishermen have claimed.

    The UK government said the deal in the European Parliament was "historic".

    Due to come into effect on 1 January, the new policy includes a gradual ban on discards - throwing away healthy fish to comply with quotas.

    But the Scottish Fishermen's Federation (SFF) said there was a huge amount to do to put the reforms into practice.

    The reforms also include a legally binding commitment to fishing at sustainable levels and the introduction of decentralised decision-making.

    EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki said the deal would create the conditions for an economically viable and sustainable European fishing fleet.
    Continue reading the main story
    “Start Quote

    The end of discarding is an important step and further regionalisation will ensure important decisions are taking closer to home”

    Richard Lochhead Scottish Fisheries Secretary

    UK Fisheries Minister George Eustice said the deal came after more than three years of difficult negotiations.

    "The long fight to reform the broken Common Fisheries Policy and end the shameful practice of perfectly good fish being thrown dead back into the sea has been won," he said.

    "Today's vote signifies a new chapter for the CFP that will make fishing more sustainable, will end the centralised one-size-fits-all approach to decision-making, and will make discards a thing of the past."

    The Scottish Fishermen's Federation said much of the new policy seemed like common sense, with much to celebrate.

    But it added that the CFP was, in many respects, a bad law, with a huge amount of work required to put it into sensible practice.

    Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead added: "It's far from perfect and many challenges remain.

    "But this political agreement is of fundamental importance to Scotland's fishermen and is a step forward.

    "The end of discarding is an important step and further regionalisation will ensure important decisions are taking closer to home."

  8. #38
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    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fulls..._can_grow.html

    The European Parliament has agreed a new fishing deal which is designed to to ensure fish stocks can grow



    The agreement which comes into effect next year, requires European countries to set quotas and fishermen to respect a “maximum sustainable yield.” That means catching no more of a particular species than it can reproduce. The policy also bans catching and discarding unwanted fish along with commercial species, starting in 2019.

    A measure that would have banned deep-sea bottom trawling failed to win a majority. Greenpeace called that decision “astonishing.”

    Separately, the parliament approved a major treaty with Morocco to resume fishing off the coast of Morocco and the disputed territory of Western Sahara. The treaty is controversial because it was negotiated without representation from the local Sahrawi people. The deal also incldes a ban on discards a prfactice which in the past has seen millions of tons of fish dumped overboard. Richard Lochhead said Scotland's fishermen should not have the number of days they can spend at sea cut further.

    With key fishing quota talks due to take place next week in Brussels, Mr Lochhead said ensuring the Scottish fleet's days at sea remained the same would be a key objective.

    He also told MSPs he would be pressing the UK Government to work towards getting a "moderate increase" in the quantity of cod Scottish fishermen are allowed to catch.

    "We always seem to face stiff challenges and difficult decisions at the end of year fisheries negotiations," Mr Lochhead said. "I will ensure Scotland's priorities are uppermost in the minds of UK ministers and we will do our utmost to fight for Scotland's interest right across the board."

    UK Government ministers will take part in the talks, as it is the UK that is a member of the European Union (EU), but Mr Lochhead and Scottish Government representatives will also play a part in the crucial discussions.

    The Environment Secretary explained next week's talks would only decide the quotas for EU waters.

    Meanwhile, quotas for North Sea stocks of fish such as cod, haddock and whiting - which are shared between the EU and Norway - will be determined at a second round of talks early next year. "So it is all still there to play for," Mr Lochhead said.

    He conceded the talks would "again be challenging" as the scientific advice for a number of species suggested catch levels should be decreased to help preserve fish stocks. But Mr Lochhead said: "I am determined, within those circumstances, to negotiate the best deal.

  9. #39
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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/component/...ts-vision.html

    MARIA Damanaki, European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, has welcomed the European Parliament's final vote in support of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

    The vote means that the CFP reform has been officially adopted and will now be applied throughout European Union waters as of 1 January 2014.

    Speaking after the vote, she said: "We now have a policy which will radically change our fisheries and will pave the way for a sustainable future for our fishermen and our resources. I am very grateful to both Parliament and Council for their commitment, vision and overall support for the Commission's proposals which mean we can now return to sustainable fishing in the short term and put an end to wasteful practices. The new CFP is a driver for what is most needed in today's Europe: a return to growth and jobs for our coastal communities."

    The reformed CFP will ensure that the same principles and standards of sustainability will apply when EU fishermen operate in foreign waters and that the EU will continue to push for sustainability in its international agreements. The change in governance and the regionalised initiatives, which will allow stakeholders and Member States to determine many of the details of the daily management of the fishing activity, are indicative of the wide-ranging nature of the reform.

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    http://www.fishnewseu.com/component/...r-for-cfp.html

    WESTMINSTER's Fisheries Minister, George Eustice, has issued a statement suggesting that the ratification of CFP reform is a genuine "milestone" for EU fisheries policy.

    Speaking on the day of the reform he said: "The long fight to reform the broken Common Fisheries Policy and end the shameful practice of perfectly good fish being thrown dead back into the sea has been won.

    "Today's vote signifies a new chapter for the CFP that will make fishing more sustainable, will end the centralised one-size-fits-all approach to decision making and will make discards a thing of the past."

    Throughout the negotiations the Westminster government fought for a commitment to firm dates to ban discards. Now that the reformed CFP has passed its final vote a ban on discarding in pelagic fisheries will take effect on 1 January 2015 with a further ban on discards in other fisheries starting from 1 Jan 2016.

    The new laws will also allow countries to work together regionally to implement measures appropriate to their own fisheries, rather than be subject to ineffective micro-management from Brussels. This regionalisation process has been a top negotiating priority for the UK government which built support for reforms to replace the over-centralised system.

    Eustice also claims that the vote secures, for the first time, a legally binding commitment to fishing at sustainable levels. This will ensure annual quotas will be underpinned by scientific advice, to achieve healthy fish stocks and a prosperous fishing industry. This commitment and the regionalisation process will both come into force from 1 January 2014. The UK's priorities for a number of stocks at next week's EU Fisheries Council will be strongly influenced by the forthcoming legal commitment to fish sustainably, as well as ending wasteful discarding.

    Mr Eustice added: "This vote marks a significant milestone and is a testament to the hard work that went into securing the much needed reform of a broken policy.

    "But our work is not over. We will continue to work with fishermen to help them adjust to the new reforms so that the transition is as smooth as possible.

    "Next week I will be representing the UK at the EU Fisheries Council. Here I will continue to ensure the UK leads the way in supporting environmentally and economically sustainable fisheries, in line with the reformed CFP coming into force in January."

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