NFFO Executive Plans Autumn Work Programme

30th September 2013 in Executive

The NFFO Executive Committee met recently to plan the Federation’s work programme for the autumn

Chairman Elect

Tony Delahunty, Chairman of the NFFO’s South East Committee, was unanimously elected as the Federation’s next Chairman. He will take over from Paul Trebilcock after our 2014 AGM.

TACs and Quotas

As is usual at this time of year, the TACs and quotas for next year are uppermost in the industry’s mind and time was devoted to preparing for forthcoming meetings with Defra at which the UK’s priorities for the December Council.

Discards Ban

The Federation recognises that the phasing-in of the EU landings obligation marks one of the biggest changes to the management regime in the history of the CFP, starting with the pelagic fisheries in January 2015. An immense amount of work on how the new regime is to be practically implemented is required and the Executive received a report on the proceedings of a week-long meeting of the Commission’s Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries which has been charged with developing guidelines in areas such as exemptions and quota flexibilities.

Regionalisation

Similarly, the Executive is keeping a close eye on the evolution of a strong regional-seas dimension to policyformulation, the other central pillar of the CFP reform. The Federation is working within the advisory committees to ensure that their is steady progress towards a more responsive and effective decision making in European fisheries and that micro-management through centralised control and is consigned to history.

Under-10m Quotas

The Executive heard that the Federation’s steady work to ease the pressures where there are quota pinch-points in specific under-10m fisheries was proceeding well. Encouraging producer organisations to play a supportive role for under-10m groups whose catching patterns are more akin to over-10m vessels and which account for 70% of the uptake of under-10m pool allocations would hopefully address the most acute problems in the sector. FPO support for the Ramsgate Pilot was working well and provided a model for other POs and under-10m groups.

Marine Protected Areas

It was recognised by the Executive that a huge amount of effort had been and continued to be deployed by the Federation in ensuring that European Marine Sites and domestic Marine Conservation Zones are introduced in a fully rational and proportionate way. It was agreed that the MPA Fishing Coalition of which the NFFO is an active member, had very successfully held the authorities to account given the amount of misplaced advocacy and wooly thinking that had surrounded the issue.

Industry Reputation

The Executive reviewed the Federation’s efforts to counter the unfair and unjustified negative image of the fishing industry that had been dominant in the media in recent years. Working with with communications specialist Acceleris, it had been possible, not only to counter factually distorted reporting but to encourage –through initiatives such as Tweets from the Deep - more positive messages about the centrality of fishing and fishermen as suppliers of healthy food. It was agreed to continue our campaign focusing mainly on:

  • The positive stock trends and reduced fishing mortality in most of our fisheries
  • The significance of fisheries science partnerships
  • The role of fishing in contributing to food security

Other Issues

Other issues, discussed by the Executive included:

  • The forthcoming review if the UK fishing vessels licensing regime
  • Safety and Training issues
  • The forthcoming FQA register
  • Cod Management Plan and Effort Control
  • Finalising NFFO policy on shellfish
  • Western Waters Effort
  • The triennial review of the Marine Management Organisation
  • Proposed reduction of the Seafish levy by 10%
  • Triennial review of the Marine Management Organisation
  • The proposed reduction of the Seafish levy by 10%