More fish, less fishing time

Mixed picture for fishermen as Europe re-draws the battle lines

Author: Pat
3rd February 2012
 

UK fishing vessels will be able to catch more fish but spend less time at sea, according to new EU legislation.

The changes to the Common Fisheries Policy arrive following the annual meeting in Brussels. New rules certainly don’t go as far as some feared: cod fishermen were worried about being restricted to four days at sea in each fortnight.

Overall, the picture fishermen face now is of a 15-25% cut in the time they can spend at sea.

The British Government called the changes a “victory”, although Scottish ministers were less happy about the new Policy.

However, the Scottish were cheered by acceptance of their ‘Cod Recovery Plan’, which allows “cod avoidance measures”, such as eliminator trawls. These enable fishermen to catch haddock and whiting whilst eliminating cod from the nets.

The trouble for policymakers is that the picture varies between different coastal areas around the UK. Some quotas – such as Haddock fishing on the west coast – are actually set to go up, following the recovery of some stocks, while in others the outlook is much less healthy.

In all, there are around 12,000 people working on around 7,000 fishing vessels registered in the UK who will be affected by the new rules.

 
 
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