Minister’s First Meeting with Federations

17th October 2008 in Europe / Common Fisheries Policy

New Fisheries Minister, Huw Irranca-Davies, met with the two UK Federations, NFFO and SFF, barely a week after taking office, to discuss priorities and preparations for the December Council of Ministers meeting that, along with the EU/Norway negotiations, will make crucial decisions on fishing opportunities for 2008.

Minister’s First Meeting with Federations

NFFO Chairman, David Hill said:

“This was an important meeting. It is no secret that we were anxious about the change in ministers and the UK negotiating team so late in the year. We have, however, come away from the meeting reassured on a number of fronts.”

“The Minister emphasised, right from the outset, that his job is to secure the best possible deal for the UK fishing industry as a whole. He was determined to ensure that we enter the negotiations with a united front. In the context of devolution we agree that that is vital.”

“He recognized his lack of direct experience and the imminence of the autumn negotiations but pledged to use the reservoir of experience available to him through the two Federations. That is an important commitment and we will work to ensure that the channels are in place to make it work.”

“We went through our priorities for the December Council and EU/Norway negotiations in detail, region by region, stock by stock, issue by issue, and I have to say that I was impressed by his grasp of the essentials. In particular, his view that we have to find a more intelligent way of rebuilding stocks than cutting TACs and restricting days at sea was absolutely in line with our own thinking.”

“There is no disguising that these are going to be a very difficult set of negotiations but we are reassured that the approach being developed by the new UK minister and his team have the essentials right. It is our joint job to make sure that these are translated into concrete results.”