Prawns – a UK and an NFFO Priority

4th November 2008 in Domestic Fisheries Policy

Nephrops make a vitally important contribution to the earnings of the UK fleet

Nephrops make a vitally important contribution to the earnings of the UK fleet; it is inevitable therefore that the prawn fishery in both the North Sea and in Area VII will be high on the NFFO’s priorities for the December Council. Overall the Nephrops stocks seem relatively stable, with one or two regional variations.

The main difficulties appear to be disputes within the scientific community over the analytical basis of the assessment. Burrow counts using undersea TV cameras appeared to offer a more reliable method of estimating abundance but new questions of whether the burrows are holiday homes or multi-occupancy constructions, have clouded the picture.

The danger of this uncertainty is that under the approach adopted by the Commission uncertainty demands precaution and therefore lower TAC recommendations. The Federation will be pressing for the status quo whilst the issue is resolved.