NFFO Exec Prepares for Autumn Negotiations

1st October 2012 in Executive

The NFFO’s Executive Committee met recently in York and high on the agenda were preparations for the crucial autumn negotiations which lead to decisions will shape the industry’s fishing opportunities for next year.

TACs and Quotas

The Executive reviewed ICES advice, and agreed a range of Federation positions in light of the Commission’s Policy Statement on Fishing Opportunities for 2013, an upcoming meeting in Brussels on stocks, work within the regional advisory councils and discussions with Defra officials on the UK’s negotiating positions.

Cod Plan

The Commission’s Proposal for interim changes to the EU Cod Management Plan was discussed in detail.

Lifejackets

A plan to bulk purchase 1000 personal flotation devices (PDFs) and make them available to NFFO members for a notional charge of £10 was approved.

Under-10s

The Committee was updated on recent developments within the Industry Working Group on resolving the quota shortage problems in the under-10m fleet. The Federation’s approach to upcoming issues including possible work on an inshore producer organisation was agreed.

CFP Reform

A report was received on a recent meeting with senior Defra officials to discuss developments towards the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy.

Shellfish

Progress made towards the adoption of the Federation’s shellfish policy was reviewed.

Media

A strategy to counter the unrelentingly hostile and profoundly ignorant media coverage of the fishing industry was adopted.

European Parliament

The Federation’s work through the RACs and Europeche with the European Parliament was reviewed and approved.

VMS/E-Logbooks

Recent correspondence with the Minister on the UK’s failure to take up a European derogation for day boats operating entirely within territorial limits and the industry’s exposure to monopoly single supplier arrangements was discussed and policy agreed.

Wind-farms

A report was received on a successful presentation of the NFFO/Crown Estate collaboration mapping of fishing activity to fisheries minister Richard Benyon. This work aims to improve planning decisions on where offshore wind-farms are located in relation to our most important fishing grounds. The work also has profound implications for the designation and management of marine protected areas.

Safety and Training

The Executive agreed a strategy for maintaining Seafish funding for training and received reports from the Federation’s safety and training officer.

Marine Protected Areas

The Federation’s work in the MPA Fishing Coalition and on a new Defra working group on EU Special Areas of Conservation, was reviewed and approved.

Marine Management Organisation

The outcome of a recent meeting with the MMO was discussed, including a proposed net tagging scheme and the increasingly unmanageable split between policy (Defra) and delivery (MMO).

Deep Water

A policy position in relation to the Commission’s Proposal for a regulation on deep water species and habitats was agreed.

Economic Link

The proceedings of a meeting with Defra/MMO officials, to discuss a forthcoming review of the UK’s economic link requirements were discussed, in preparation for a forthcoming consultation.

POCA

A paper produced by a learned legal figure, concluding that the Proceeds of Crime Act was “draconian and disproportionate”, was discussed and policy agreed.

Concordat

The implications of the new concordat agreed between fisheries administrations were discussed and policy agreed.

Trust Fund

The Committee received detailed of disbursements through the NFFO Training Trust. This year it has been possible (thanks to a donation from NFFO Services Limited) to make available grants amounting to £100,000 to fund training and the purchase of safety equipment.

Next Meeting

The Executive will next meet in Newlyn in early November.