This was a different kind of December Council in a number of important ways. Many delegations…
PO and Under-10 Cooperation Shows the Way
Cooperation between the Fish Producers Organisation and the Ramsgate under-10metre Pilot Group is going well. The PO has been able to facilitate quota swaps and transfers that have kept the Ramsgate vessels fishing throughout the year with minimal discards.
The NFFO which brokered the arrangement following a meeting between the operators of larger South East under-10s in and the English producer organisations in April of this year, puts a lot of store in this kind of arrangement as a model for the future.
Ramsgate skipper, Eddie Temple, said "The FPO has been doing a marvellous job on our behalf with swaps etc....."
Chloe Rogers, Quota Manager for the Hull based FPO said "The cooperative arrangements between the Ramsgate Group and the FPO seem to be working very well. We have been able to access additional quota for the boats by plugging them into our usual swaps and transfers arrangements. This is part of our normal work as PO managers but it is of real benefit to the boats concerned and helps to achieve full utilisation of UK quotas."
Barrie Deas, Chief Executive of the NFFO added, "Having established the benefits of this approach, our aspiration is to extend it to those other parts of the under-10m fleet, which periodically face quota pinch points. The idea is straightforward: to put professional quota management skills and contacts at the service of the under-10 which face periodic quota shortages. It's not magic but it does create access to additional quota for boats which need it. The central point is that the quota is tailored to the needs of the boats concerned.
"We would be interested to hear from any other under-10 groups who feel that they could benefit from this kind of approach."
"We acknowledge that the Ramsgate group is relatively small and has certain advantages - not least being able to work in both the North Sea and Eastern Channel. But no one should underestimate the power of professional quota management to improve access to quota. This is the key to moving forward on the unde-10m issue. It is not for everybody and many smaller under-10s are content with the flexibility that the under-10 pool provides. But for the high catching end of the under-10 fleet it's got to be the way to go. The Federation would be happy to put under-10 groups in touch with willing POs."