Critical Decisions on Celtic Sea Cod at November Council

3rd November 2008 in Celtic Sea

The signs are mounting that the November Council of European fisheries ministers is likely to take critical decisions on the EU cod recovery plan - and whether or not it is extended to include the Celtic Sea next year.

The signs are mounting that the November Council of European fisheries ministers is likely to take critical decisions on the EU cod recovery plan - and whether or not it is extended to include the Celtic Sea next year.

The NFFO has argued strongly that for a variety of reasons the Celtic Sea should remain outside the cod recovery zone – and the days at sea restrictions that are part and parcel of it.

  • A different approach based on the Trevose area/seasonal closure has been in place for three years and has undoubtedly contributed to the better outlook for cod
  • The main trends in the fishery are positive: fishing mortality has fallen and the biomass has increased
  • The “Ultra-mixed” character of the south-west fisheries means that effort control based on a species that represents only 6% of the landings would place the SW fleets in an untenable straightjacket

The Commission’s latest suggestion is for an “inner” and an “outer” Celtic sea with effort reductions mainly applying to ICES area VII f and g. Meetings with Defra officials and the UK Fisheries Minister Huw Irricana-Davies to prepare for the Council are in hand.