North East NFFO Regional Committee

21st December 2011 in North East

The NFFO’s North East Committee has had an exceptionally busy year.

Chairman: Ned Clark, North Shields/Cullercoates

Email: nedclark@aol.com

The Federation’s North East Committee is active in the following policy areas:

  • Whiting quota: the severe imbalance between available quota and the abundance of quota on the fishing grounds has led to high levels of discards in recent years. This has been a priority area for the NFFO and the most recent EU Norway agreement included the second successive rise in TAC with additional increases from a quota transfer from Norway and the invocation of the Hague Preference. Whilst this still leaves an imbalance progress in the right direction.
  • Long Term Management Plan for Nephrops: The Committee has fed into the important work of the North Sea regional Advisory Council on the development of a long term management plan for the nephrops fishery.
  • Days-at Sea: Days at sea restrictions arising from the EU Cod Management Plan have the potential to seriously harm the viability of the North East nephrops/whitefish fleet. For this reason the NE Committee has been an active participant in industry/government discussions on effort control through the English Days at Sea Group
  • Mixed fishery Issues: The fishery off the North East Coast is a genuine mixed fishery in which the main economic driver species alternates between nephrops (prawns) and whitefish within a notable seasonality
  • Fisheries Science Partnerships: The fishing industry in the North east has taken part in a number of fisheries science partnership projects designed to address issues of concern to the local industry and fill gaps in the more formal stock assessments and fisheries science
  • Marine Conservation Zones: The Committee has contributed to both the MPA Fishing Coalition and the regional project Net Gains to protect the most valuable fishing grounds during the process of establishing a network of marine conservation zones
  • North East Salmon Fishery: The Committee hosts meeting of the NFFO’s Salmon Committee whose Chairman, Derek Heselton MBE has fought a long and arduous battle in defence of the licenced drift net fishery for salmon over many years.
  • Domestic Quota Reform: Given its mix of both under and over-10 metre vessel the Committee has fed into the debate on the future of quota management for the under-10 fleet
  • Dialogue with the Marine Management Organisation: The Committee has engaged with the delivery of fisheries policy through the NFFO’s regular meetings with the MMO
  • Shellfish: The development of shellfish policy is a priority area for the Committee given the importance of the crab and lobster fishery on the North East Coast
  • CFP Reform: The Committee keeps a close eye on developments towards a reformed Common Fisheries Policy and contributes to the Federation’s work in this area, including positions prepared by the North Sea RAC.
  • The Committee was active in securing £6million funding for the North Shields West Quay project
  • NFFO North East Committee members sit on the Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) and the North Eastern IFCA and also the Regional Advisory Council of the Environment Agency