NFFO Executive – March 2012

19th March 2012 in Executive

The NFFO Executive Committee met again recently to address a full agenda.

The Committee approved a draft letter to Fisheries Minister on Defra’s approach to the issue of under-10m quotas. The letter suggests that Defra’s policies run the risk of pleasing no one, alienating many, and leaving the problem facing specific under-10 fisheries largely intact. It advances a number of ideas for a package of measures that would resolve the structural problems facing these fisheries.

The Federation’s extensive efforts to brief the European Parliament on the main elements of CFP reform were reviewed. Preparations for a debate on CFP reform in the Westminster Parliament were also discussed and agreed.

NFFO contributions efforts to secure changes to the EU Cod Management Plan were discussed. These included:

  • Representation at a forthcoming technical meeting in Brussels convened by the Commission to examine interim arrangements, pending the development of alternative multi-species plans
  • A request from the North Sea RAC to the Commission to explain the its legal rationale for declining (at December Council) to end the pre-programmed effort and TAC cuts required the provisions of the current Plan
  • Participation in the forthcoming STECF meeting in Rostock prepare an impact assessment of options for alternatives to the current cod plan

A report was received on a meeting held in York on selectivity measures in the nephrops fishery as part of the settlement at the December Council on effort control.

The Executive reviewed the Federation’s work on marine protected areas including:

  • Its active role in the MPA Fishing Coalition
  • Negotiations on management measures for the Natura area on the Dogger Bank
  • A recent meeting with Marine Scotland on MPAs in Scottish Waters
  • Project work on the issues of sensitivity of habitats to fishing and ways of minimising displacement effects

It was agreed to find new ways to express concern at the complete lack of forward movement on the Federation’s proposals for a management approach for shellfish Management measures in response to the growing amount of effort in the scallop fisheries were discussed.

The Committee received a report and commented on the recent meeting between a Federation delegation and the Marine Management Organisation.

The Executive agreed to endorse the International Sustainability Unit Declaration on Sustainable Fisheries.

It was agreed to prepare for a continuation and where possible expansion of the Catch Quota projects using CCTV, where these were a) voluntary and b) adequately incentivised and without cost to others in the fishery

The Committee resolved to continue to press for parity in the treatment of over-10m non-sector with regard to quota leasing

Ways of strengthening communications with the NFFO’s grass roots members was discussed

The Executive heard that the board of NFFO Services Limited had recently spent a day focused on the development of a medium term commercial strategy

The Federation’s continuing work with the Crown Estate on mapping of the areas of most intense fishing activity to minimise the impact of future wind-farm developments was discussed

The Federation’s recent work in the sphere of safety and training was reviewed including:

  • Working Time Directive
  • Funding for fishermen’s training

Arrangements for the Federation’s AGM on 10th May, 2012, in St William’s College in York were agreed.

The next meeting of the NFFO’s Executive Committee will be held on 11th May, 2012.