Shirtsleeves Meeting on Council Priorities

14th November 2008 in TACs and Quotas

The NFFO and Defra officials got down to the detail of the UK’s priorities for the forthcoming November and December Councils at a recent working meeting in London.

In the unglamorous setting of one of Defra’s basement meeting rooms, detailed discussions were held on the pressure points in the coming negotiations on TACs and quotas and day-at sea restrictions.

The meeting systematically covered all of the main areas: Celtic Sea, Channel, Irish Sea, North Sea, West of Scotland and External Waters. The Commission’s proposal to revise the EU cod recovery plan and the implications of this for future TACs, days at sea rules and the areas included in the cod recovery zone were studied and views expressed.

In particular, detailed discussion was held on the transition to a new effort regime based on EU allocations of effort to member states and tactics to keep the Celtic Sea out of the cod recovery zone.

“This was a very thorough meeting in which spades were called spades” said David Hill, NFFO Chairman. “There is a lot at stake here. Apart from dealing with the Commission’s broad brush approach to TACs, there are many, many, unanswered questions about how the new effort regime would operate and what the impact on the different fleets would be.

A Federation delegation will travel to Brussels for the November Council and will be on hand for consultations with ministers and officials throughout.