The latest scientific advice on spurdog points to the reintroduction of a bycatch allowance as the most sensible management strategy to recover the stock. This would prevent the needless discarding of dead catch, remove an incentive to retain smooth hound as substitution, and restore the evidence base generated by the fishing fleet that underpins management decision-making.
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“I told you so” is rarely an attractive phrase. But it is difficult to avoid a tone of grim smugness when speaking about the 375% TAC increase in this year’s scientific advice for Irish Sea cod. So long regarded as a basket case, ICES has dramatically revised its perception of the stock and altered the assumptions that support its model. The advice has shifted from a zero catch in 2012, and a minimal bycatch in 2016, to a healthy allocation in 2018, with the stock considered to be above maximum sustainable yield trigger.
The Labour Party intends to engage much more closely with the fishing industry than it has done the past. It is doing so in order to equip itself to be an effective and influential official opposition in fisheries. As a baseline for its policies, it needs a sound understanding of the issues confronting all parts of the industry.
The top DEFRA ministerial team, led by Secretary of State, Michael Gove, met recently with key UK stakeholders to hear their aspirations and discuss the risks associated with the UK’s departure from the EU.
The Federation has today received the following letter from the Secretary of State, Michael Gove:
Fishing will be a sort of litmus test for Brexit. As the UK begins the process of leaving the EU, we have entered a period of extreme uncertainty. The outcome of the exit negotiations, and the kind of trade relations that the UK will have with Europe after it leaves, will be dependent on many complex factors, not least whether an agreement will be possible at all.
The Fisheries Bill contained in the Queen’s speech, along with the Government’s announcement that the UK will withdraw from the 1964 London Convention, are important developments that signal that the legal foundations are being laid for a post-Brexit fisheries regime in the UK’s exclusive economic zone.
Over the summer maritime charities Seafarers UK and Cornwall Rural Community Charity (CRCC) are working together to carry out a UK-wide project to survey fishermen, their families and fishing communities. The survey aims to understand community and individual needs and challenges better, and to identify examples of projects or activities that are working to tackle these.
The bewildering change of political fortunes over the last few weeks prompts the fair question: what does it all mean for the prospects of the UK fishing industry as the UK leaves the European Union?
The Management of Fisheries within the UK Zone Post-Brexit