The Federation’s North East Committee is highly active and represents fishermen and vessel operators from the Scottish border to the Humber.
The Committee ensures that fishermen’s representations to Government on all aspects of the nephrops (prawn) fishery are heard. Dealing with the consequences of the EU Cod Recovery Plan, gear selectivity, effort control, electronic logbooks, safety issues, industry reputation have all been prominent issues dealt with by the Committee recently.
The Committee is involved in all aspects of the process leading to the setting of Total Allowable Catches, from fisheries science partnership projects, ICES date compilation and benchmark meetings, the North Sea Regional Advisory Council, dialogue with Defra on UK quota priorities and the EU Norway negotiations.
The Committee has had some success in recent years in playing a part in securing evidence based increases in the TAC for North Sea whiting.
The Committee in represented at the regular meetings between the NFFO and the marine management organisation
Particular attention has been given to the North Sea RAC’s work on the development of a long term management plan for nephrops, including a customised rebuilding plan for the Farne Deeps functional unit that has exhibited some signs of over-exploitation in recent years.
The shellfisheries for crab and lobster are also of critical importance to the North East and the Committee is therefore prominent in the Federation’s policy work in this area.
Likewise, the Committee, along with the Federation’s Salmon Committee fights for the drift net and T&J net fisheries against overwhelming odds.
Last but definitely not least, the Committee is actively involved in ensuring that fishermen in the North East have a voice in the process of establishing a network of marine protected areas in UK waters.