A group of international scientists is currently looking into whether the fisheries in our waters are now seriously under-fished, forgoing landings amounting to something in the region of 5% of the global catch of wild fish. Dr Henrik Sparholt, who for many years held a senior position within ICES, recently presented an outline of a research project to understand this development with more precision, to a meeting of the Executive Committee of the North Sea Advisory Council.
Latest News View news by tag View all news
Intense behind-the-scenes work is continuing both in preparation for the exit negotiations and for the post-Brexit fisheries regime in the UK.
An NFFO delegation of 11 has recently returned from a study tour to Oslo and Bergen to learn in detail how Norway operates as an independent coastal state; experience that is likely to be very relevant when the UK leaves the European Union. Discussions with the Norwegian Ministry for Fisheries in Oslo, senior officials of the Norwegian Fishermen’s Association and key personnel in the Fisheries Directorate as well as the Marine Institute, also touched on the kind of bilateral arrangements that the UK and Norway might aspire to post-Brexit.
Sleeves were rolled up in London recently, as large teams from NFFO and DEFRA/Cefas got to grips with the issues that are likely to feature in this year’s December Council.
Fisheries Minister, George Eustice, and a team of senior DEFRA officials used the Cornish FPO’s recent annual general meeting to provide an update on preparations to leave the CFP.
As part of the preparation for the implementation of ILO C188, the first meeting of a special Fishing Industry Safety Group (FISG) to develop a voluntary safety management code was held at the NFFO office in York.
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.
“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.