Minister told fishing shutdown pointless –

Minister told fishing shutdown pointless Published:  05 February, 2010

THE Government has been told that the decision to close down the English whitefish fleet for a week recent was both “unfair and pointless”.

The wrap came from the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations when it met the Fisheries Minister Huw Irranca-Davies in London this week.

The NFFO said their displeasure was pointed out firmly, but in measured terms.The shutdown caused anger right around the country, especially on the East Coast.

The NFFO said that crises can often generate opportunities and this may be a case in point. During the course of the extensive meeting with the Minister and his officials,several technical points were agreed including that both the Federation and Defra shared the same goal of maximising flexibility within the effort control regime whilst respecting the overall limits imposed by the Cod Recovery Plan.

During the remainder of this month and throughout the coming year Defra and NFFO representatives will work closely to monitor effort uptake and to jointly agree remedial action if and when the need arises.

The NFFO says it retains the view that effort control is an ineffectual inherently bureaucratic and economically damaging way to control fishing mortality.

” It sets in train perverse consequences that hinder rather than help cod recovery. Defra and the Federation share the view that effort control should be removed as soon as an opportunity occurs and replaced with targeted measures. The only thing that can be said with certainty about the current effort based cod recovery plan is that its economic impact is disproportionate to the very small direct impact that it has on cod mortality.”