Friday, 15 December 2017

Brexit: and sea bass quotas

Fishing is very much about quotas:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and 'looking to get increases in fishing quotas'

The problem is that Westminster has never seen fishing as much of a priority - and has sold the UK industry down the river as it were:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and betraying the UK's fishing industry

But it's not easy being a fisher:
Fishermen demand EU quota change after throwing back sea bass worth £10,000 in ONE CATCH | UK | News | Express.co.uk

Today's news from Plymouth shows the frustration:

Fishermen 'have been forced to thrown £120k of dead fish back in the sea in a week'

Rachael Dodd Reporter - 13 DEC 2017


Fishermen in Plymouth are calling for a change in regulations which currently see bass totalling more than three per cent of their total catch thrown back into the sea. The frustrated fishermen say the rules, which were designed to conserve sea bass numbers, are costing them thousands and the fish often die when they are pulled from the water or soon after being tossed back.

Shane Farrow, vice-chair for Fishermen United said: "Fishermen United is a newly-formed group that consists of fisherman from around the country who are at the end of their tether. Everyone's had enough of the current quota system. French fishermen don't want to throw away perfectly good sea bass any more than we do. They agree with us that something has to change."

Paul Trebilcock, chief executive of the Cornish Fish Producers Organisation, said new rules had to be worked out despite Brexit. Mr Trebilcock said they had support from junior Defra minister and Cornish MP George Eustice who recognised it was "nonsense to waste a valuable resource." 

"As it stands the fishing methods being used can't change to suit the system, but the system could change to suit the fishing methods. We want to try and get to the point where we have a decent conservation level. Sea bass is a by-catch of fishing. Fishermen don't go out to fish sea bass, but they still catch it accidentally. What we want to see is better provision for certain species and perhaps a higher percentage quota to stop the waste of good sea bass."

The government insists stocks of sea bass are in long-term decline but local fishermen say there have been so many recently that catching them has been unavoidable.

A decision on fishing quotas is expected to be taken by all 28 EU fisheries ministers this Wednesday.

Fishermen 'have been forced to thrown £120k of dead fish back in the sea in a week' - Plymouth Herald

Today that decision has been made as the EU's Council agreed to tighten rules around catching sea bass:

Concerning sea bass the Council acknowledged the bad state of stocks in the Celtic Sea, Channel, Irish Sea and southern North Sea and their importance for many countries. 

It consequently decided to make additional efforts by only allowing limited fisheries with certain gears in those areas, while providing for a two months closure to protect spawning aggregations.

Council agreement on 2018 fishing quotas in the Atlantic and North Sea - Consilium

At the other end of the country, there are fears of what the fishing industry will look like post-Brexit:
Grimsby: The town wanting to have its fishcake and eat it - Latest Brexit news and top stories - The New European

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