NFFO Executive at Work in Newlyn

7th November 2012 in Executive

The NFFO Executive Committee met recently in Newlyn to review the Federation’s policies in the run up to the December Council and beyond.

Cod Plan: The Executive agreed that the Commission’s proposals for an interim cod regime, pending replacement of the discredited EU Cod Management Plan, represented real progress in the direction advocated by the NFFO, RACs and others

Flaws: The Commission’s proposals still however contain a number of flaws which need to be ironed out, chiefly the proposed prohibition of quota transfers to and from Catch Quota vessels fitted with CCTV cameras; this mistaken policy, based on a misunderstanding of quota management arrangements in the member states, has the capacity to derail the catch quota trials if not removed

Fully Documented Fisheries: The Executive agreed that various types of fully documented fisheries offered a way to escape from blunt and excessively restrictive management measures and approved the Federation’s involvement in a number of initiatives to deepen and broaden the types of full documentation available: CCTV, observers, risk-based approached focused on catch sampling etc.

VMS/E-Logs: It was agreed to write again to the Minister, Richard Benyon, highlighting flaws in the Governments approach to the requirement to fit VMS and e-logbooks. In particular, the Federation is critical of the way that the industry has been again exposed to an exploitative single supplier arrangements , rushed implementation and a failure to take advantage of the derogation available for vessels between 12m and 15m.

South East: A meeting of the Federation’s South East Committee in Rye had been postponed because of a bereavement and would be rearranged for the New Year

Economic Link: The Executive agreed to respond to the forthcoming consultation on economic link requirements to ensure that they are fair and proportionate

TACs and Quotas: The Federation’s extensive work on TACs and quotas for next year was approved, along with plans for the December CouncilCFP Reform: An update on the Federation’s work on CFP reform was received, including:
  1. Lobbying of the EU Parliament
  2. A recent meeting with the relevant Defra officials
  3. A presentation at a recent Westminster conference
  4. Work within the regional advisory councils
Domestic Quota Reform: It was agreed that given the impasse that appeared to have been reached on progress towards an equitable resolution of the under-10m quota issue, it was timely to again press for the adoption of the Federation’s balanced multi-faceted approach discussed with the Minister earlier in the year.Industry Reputation: The Federation’ fight-back against distorted, lazy and dishonest media portrayals of the fishing industry was approved by the Executive but concern was expressed that a more concerted effort was required. A programme of media engagement based on sound evidence, balanced coverage and recognition of the industry’s role in providing food security was approved. A collaborative approach with other industry bodings including Seafish was envisaged. Regional Advisory Councils: The Executive:
  • Considered that the RACs had been one of the most significant developments arising from the last CFP reform and had exceeded expectations in terms of the quality and maturity of advice provided and as a platform for cooperation between stakeholders and fisheries scientists
  • Recognised that in a regionalised CFP, RACs would play an even more prominent and effective role
  • Approved representations on the future of RACS made by the NFFO at a major consultative meeting held in Brussels chaired by the Director General
    1. Reviewed a number of areas of RAC work including:
    2. EU Cod Plan
    3. Irish Sea and West of Scotland cod audit and fuly documentation respectively
    4. Nephrops Functional Units
    5. Celtic Sea long term management plan
    6. Pelagic RAC: TAC and harvesting advice/international negotiations
    7. Long Distance RAC: international negotiations

Marine Protected Areas: The Federation’s work was reviewed and approved on:

  • Changing policy on European marine sites to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Habitats Directive
  • Dogger Bank Management Measures
  • The MPA Fishing Coalition

Safety and Training: Progress towards the bulk-buying and distribution of low cost personal flotation devices to NFFO members was approved. It was anticipated that these would be available early in the New Year. It was agreed to work with Seafish on the PDF distribution project and in evaluation of the important role played by levy funding for training

Shellfish

The Executive discussed Defra’s extensive response to the Federation’s shellfish policy paper. It was agreed to convene a meeting of the NFFO Shellfish Committee early in the New Year to develop a response on issues such as latent capacity, stock assessments and minimum landing sizesSubsea Cables: A memorandum of understanding with the cable industry on co-existence of the two industries was approved and warmly welcomed by the Executive

Next Meeting

The Executive will next meet on the 24th January, in York.