NFFO Executive Committee Meets in Whitby

11th March 2013 in Executive

The NFFO continued its work at a recent meeting in Whitby.

The Committee discussed the Federation's work in relation to the CFP reform process, including with the European Parliament and at the Council of Ministers, held in Brussels on 26th/27th February; and through dialogue with DEFRA on both the content of the reform and implementation issues arising from the proposed discard ban

The Executive also discussed its strategy to counter the continuing hostile and superficial media coverage that is unfairly damaging the fishing industry’s reputation. A planning meeting to move from a fire-fighting approach to more proactive intervention will be held shortly

The NFFO's work in the field of fishing vessel safety was reviewed and new initiatives approved

Continuing efforts were reviewed to ensure that the network of marine protected areas being established in UK waters is implemented in a fully rational, proportionate and evidence-based way

A new industry initiative to address the most acute quota shortage facing some parts of the under-10m fleet was finalised and approved

The Federation's contribution to the important work being done in the regional advisory councils was reviewed, especially in the areas of cod recovery, discards and long term management plans

The Executive noted that the NFFO Shellfish Committee would meet imminently to address a range of issues confronting the shellfish sector

Reports were received from regional committee meetings and representational work in the South East, South West, North West and North East.

It was agreed to join and contribute financially to a newly formed coalition whose aim will be to press for a science-based approach to sustainable fishing of deep water species

Policy incoherence and fragmentation arising from divergent approaches by Defra and the devolved administrations was highlighted. Problems arising from policy approaches followed by the Welsh Assembly and Isle of Man were also discussed and policies agreed

Progress towards securing parity for non-sector vessels in leasing quota was welcomed

Preparations for a forthcoming meeting with the Marine Management Organisation were agreed

The Federation's successful repulse of divisive and poorly-researched media attack on the NFFO and industry unity by Greenpeace was applauded.

The importance of maintaining Seafish's central role in providing fishermen's training was underscored

Concerns were expressed over the future budget for the Fisheries Science Partnership. It was agreed to seek a meeting with DEFRA/Cefas to ensure that the partnership approach to fisheries science is expanded rather than reduced

It was agreed that the Federation's AGM will be held this year on 15th May, in York