A consensus seems to be emerging that bass could be excluded from the landings obligation when it comes fully into force on 1st January. The exclusion of the species hinges on an interpretation of the “catch limits” which currently apply to bass. On the face of it, bass should be included in the landings obligation because a range of catch limits apply to different gears in which bass are caught; and the wording in article 15 of the CFP basic regulation which gives force to the discard ban does indeed refer to “catch limits.”
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The recent clashes in the Channel between UK and French fishing vessels over scallop grounds highlight a number of important issues.
Thousands of flags and wheelhouse stickers in fishing ports across the country are delivering the fishing industry’s message to the Government and politicians as the UK/EU withdrawal negotiations edge towards a critical stage. By flying the No Sell-Out flags, thousands of vessels, in dozens of ports around the coast, urge the UK negotiators to stand firm against the EU’s pressure to keep the status quo on access for their fleets and the current unfair quota shares. Cornish fisherman and NFFO Chairman, Andrew Pascoe, in a letter accompanying the flags, spells it out:
A new project is underway to help improve advice on ways to prevent seals from taking fish catches.
The Government has published its long-awaited White Paper on Fisheries. Sustainable Fisheries for Future Generations outlines the Government’s vision for UK fisheries post-Brexit. Unsurprisingly, its headline objectives are those associated with the UK’s future as an independent coastal state outside the Common Fisheries Policy.
The NFFO’s new Chairman, Cornish fisherman, Andrew Pascoe, has said that he is gratified to see the UK fishing industry uniting to ensure that we secure the best possible deal as the UK leaves the EU and the CFP.
At a recent meeting of the North Sea Advisory Council, the European Commission made the surprising announcement that UK stakeholders will be ejected from membership of the advisory councils from March 2019. It had been assumed by most people in the ACs that as the whole acqui (the whole body of EU law) will continue to apply to the UK during the transition, and ACs are not decision making bodies, membership of the advisory council would remain unchanged until December 2020.
The Federation recently held a lobby day in Parliament to ensure that fishing remains a priority issue for the Government as the UK approaches key stages in the UK/EU withdrawal negotiations. During the event, which took place in a Committee Room 10 in the Palace of Westminster, a team of ten NFFO port representatives briefed MPs and Lords on all aspects of the UK’s withdrawal, as they impact on their particular region or sector.
The appointment of Andrew Pascoe, as the new Chairman of the NFFO, was confirmed at a meeting of the NFFO Executive Committee, held immediately after the AGM.
Mike Cohen – NFFO Chairman - Personal remarks to the NFFO AGM, held this year in London in Fishmongers Hall
In just a few minutes I cease not only to be the Chairman of the NFFO, but also - for the time being, at least - to have any regular involvement with the fishing industry. Life takes us, sometimes, in unexpected directions and mine is leading me - for now - away from an industry that I have lived and breathed around the clock - just like everyone else here - for the last 7 years.