Call to torch new EU fishing regulations –

Call to torch new EU fishing regulations Published:  28 July, 2014

HOSTILITY is growing among fishermen towards the new raft of European Union technical conservation  rules due to come into force at the start of 2016.

The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO) is calling for a bonfire to be made of some of  the proposed regulations, but the concern is also thought to be European wideThe NFFO says there are many reasons to be concerned.about the way that the EU landings obligation is implemented and the discard ban will be the intense focus of much of the Federation’s work over the next few years. But it pints out positives could also emerge. “In a nutshell, and depending on how it’s implemented, the landings obligation could herald an escape from much of the morass of technical rules which can make fishermen’s lives a misery; into a new era in which fishermen have much more control over their day to day activities.The NFFO highlights the discards ban as an area which is fraught with problems because fishermen are being required to use gear is a blanket fashion. It suggests more selective gear as well as allowing a skipper’s knowledge on when, where and how to fish to be taken into consideration. “In any event, there should be a bonfire of the mass of prescriptive technical conservation rules which will no longer be relevant or helpful,” it adds”One of the important outstanding questions remaining is whether the European institutions will have the courage of their own convictions. Having decided that European fisheries, despite the steady progress already made in reducing discards, needed a landings obligation, will they sanction the removal of all rules which hamper skippers in adapting to the new regime?”Right up to the 1st of January 2016, and then beyond, the Federation will be active in shaping the implementing rules to minimise the disruption and maximise the positives in the landings obligation. One of the most important of the latter will be the potential for an historic shift away from prescriptive micro-management in the area of technical conservation.”

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