The latest of several regional and port meetings organised by the MMO and NFFO to address…
North East NFFO Regional Committee
The NFFO’s North East Committee has had an exceptionally busy year.
Chairman: Ned Clark, North Shields/Cullercoates
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