Conservation Conscious Danes Urged To Act –

Conservation Conscious Danes Urged To Act Fishing Monthly Published:  30 September, 2002

Hamish Morrison… has urged Danes to use their prudent paproach to fish management to save deepwater stocks

A FISHERMEN’S grouping has urged Denmark to use its reputation for prudent fisheries management to overturn a contentious deep-water deal.

Scottish Fishermen’s Federation chief executive Hamish Morrison has told Denmark’s Food Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Mariann Fischer Boel, in her capacity as President-in-Office of the European Agriculture and Fisheries Council, that the deepwater deal under the Spanish presidency was based on assumptions that ran counter to scientific advice.

It was concluded without consultation with the industry and it pre-empted the meeting of NEAFC on June 12 called to discuss deepwater management.

He said these serious lapses in procedure have resulted in an agreement that is unsafe, unsatisfactory and inequitable and it is vital that the whole matter is reconsidered before any deepwater regulation is enacted.

“It is, to say the least unfortunate that the Council was misled into the belief that the scientific advice had recommended TACs when all known scientific opinion took the view that the only safe control regime was effort control.

“There would have been some justification if the TACs had covered all commercial stocks in the fishery or even if a multi-species TAC had been recommended.As it is, only eight species amongst over 30 will be subject to catch limits.This state of affairs will result in a continued free fishery for most species with wholesale discarding of the species most at risk.

“There must be, therefore, a very high risk of stocks collapsing in the medium term”