Nephrops: Taking it to the Ports

12th June 2010 in Advisory Councils, Shellfish

North Sea RAC takes its Ideas for a Long-Term Management Plan for Nephrops to the main prawn ports

In a ground-breaking initiative that could set a precedent for other stocks, the North Sea Regional Council is to hold a series of meetings with fishermen and other stakeholders in the main nephrops ports.

Chairman of the North Sea RAC, Hugo Anderson, said:“We have been working on a long-term management plan for nephrops in the North Sea for two years. Now it is time to share our work with those in the fishery to test whether we have got things right and to see whether we have missed anything. Long-term management plans are the future and it is therefore extremely important that everyone involved in the nephrops fishery contributes to its development. We fully understand that the industry is suffering from meeting overload but if you are in any way connected to the nephrops industry we need to hear from you.”

The meetings will be held in Fraserburgh, Pittenweem, Eyemouth, North Shields and ports in Denmark and the Netherlands at times convenient for the local fleets.

Mike Park, Chairman of the NSRAC working group that has developed the draft plan said: “A long-term management plan, once adopted, will determine TAC levels and shape fleet policies and the economics of individual fishing businesses. The advantage of a long term plan is the stability it brings as overall fisheries objectives are met in a steady, progressive, way. But it is extremely important that those in the fishery are comfortable with the plan and see it as a better way of doing things than crisis management and the lottery and chaos of the December Council.”

“The draft plan has been developed by the North Sea RAC in discussion with fisheries scientists and economists. It is comprehensive in a way that other long-term plans have not been and our aim is a plan that delivers a sustainable and profitable fishery. The plan deals with realities such as technical creep and by-catch issues. Nothing has been ducked,” he added.

“We had the choice of waiting for the European Commission to present us with a draft plan that may not have been to our liking, or to take the initiative. A great deal of work has gone into developing this draft. Once we have heard from the fishing ports, the plan will be finalised then presented as formal advice from the NSRAC. The draft plan can be read at www.nsrac.org

The schedule for the port meetings will be as follows:

North Shields

Saturday 19th June, at the Rex Hotel, the Promenade, Whitley Bay at 10am

Fraserburgh }

Pittenweem }

Denmark } To be confirmed

Netherlands } Eyemouth }