Thursday, 24 November 2016

Brexit: and 'looking to get increases in fishing quotas'

What has the Chancellor ever done for Devon?
Futures Forum: Brexit: and the Autumn Statement's impact on Devon

The impact on fishing is not clear - but some fear that the future is not good:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and betraying the UK's fishing industry

However, others have no such qualms:

Torbay fishing chief 'optimistic' after Brexit meeting with minister

By HECAbbott | Posted: November 23, 2016

Jim Portus at Brixham harbour

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BOTH the short-term and long-term future of South Devon's fishing industry is looking bright, according to a Torbay-based fishing chief who has returned from a meeting about Brexit in Westminster.

Jim Portus, chief executive of the South Western Fish Producer Organisation, along with a couple of South West fishermen, attended a meeting with fisheries minister George Eustice MP and his ministerial advisors on Tuesday.

"It's so important for the future of our fishing communities that Parliament gets Brexit right," said Mr Portus. "Ports like Brixham rely on exporting fish to countries in the European Union. Around 80 per cent of everything we catch is exported so it's important we maintain a good relationship with the EU. Our product is second to none and they want to buy it as much as we want to sell it."

Mr Portus said that the UK is already a signatory of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. He said: "This global agreement is the foundation that will remain after Brexit. It's not like we're going to be starting from scratch. It's a very secure safety net. We're very comfortable with our Parliament managing fisheries under the terms of that convention. It will ensure the resources and the fishing communities are looked after well. The fish will be managed sustainably and the fleets will be managed fairly."

Both the fishing industry and George Eustice MP were on the Brexit side in the run-up to the referendum that saw the country vote to leave the EU.

Mr Portus said: "The fishing industry believes that in 1972 it was sacrificed as a negotiating pawn in the difficult political environment that existed at the time. Brexit offers a golden opportunity to put right the wrongs of the early 1970s, roll back from that disadvantaged position and give fishermen better opportunities in the future, by renewing the terms under which foreign vessels operate within our waters.

"Just off the Torbay coast, we quite often have fishermen from other countries fishing between the six-mile and 12-mile limits. Those vessels are much bigger than Brixham boats. It has been a source of anxiety for a long time that we should be watching resources on our own doorstep being harvested for the benefit of other countries."

Mr Portus said that not only was he optimistic about the Brexit negotiations, he was also positive about the short-term well-being of Brixham's fishing industry.

He said: "We were also able to talk about the quotas for 2017, as in a few days' time the minister will be going to Brussels to do the negotiations as is routine for the end of year. We're looking to get increases in quotas.

"Things are looking pretty positive for the short-term. Prices have been very good and Brixham's fishing industry has had some record-breaking weeks."

Torbay fishing chief 'optimistic' after Brexit meeting with minister | Torquay Herald Express

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