New proposals for working boats under 10 metres –

New proposals for working boats under 10 metres Published:  25 May, 2011

THE way that local commercial fishermen working boats of under ten metres in length in England and Wales will have their access to fish managed is likely to be changed dramatically if proposals from the Department of Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs are implemented next year.

A consultation from the Government’s fisheries managers is suggesting that the quotas that each inshore fisherman and shell fisherman has will be fixed for the future according to their past track record of catches.

Fishermen will also be given the opportunity to manage their own quota, rather than have it managed for them by the Government.

Jerry Percy, chief executive to the New Under Tens Fishermen’s Association, (NUTFA) the representative body for inshore fishermen in England and Wales, said: “The implications to local fishermen and shellfishermen and local communities, of the proposals by Defra are going to be massive. They seek to introduce individual quotas for each small scale fisherman, locking them into future activity, based on past performance. Whilst some fishers may benefit, there will be losers.

“NUTFA are committed to ensuring that fishermen around the coast, whether over or under ten, members or otherwise are fully informed of the proposals and have a chance to respond. We are touring the main ports (itinerary below) to speak with fishermen in this respect. Each venue will open at 2pm and fishermen, under and over ten, members or not,  are invited to drop in to discuss the proposals with NUTFA staff and then contribute to a larger debate at 6pm.

“It is absolutely vital that fishermen attend their local venue and contribute to the report that NUTFA will present to Government at the conclusion of the consultation. The DEFRA proposals will change the way that fishermen operate and they must have their say, it’s their future.”

Defra will also provide staff at most of the meetings to answer specific questions.

The Dates and Venues (All 2pm – 8pm) are:

· Thursday 26th May – Thurrock: The Village Hall, High Street, Aveley,  

· Friday 27th May- Aldeburgh: The Church Hall, next to Aldeburgh’s St Peter and Paul Church, Victoria Road, Aldeburgh, Suffolk

· Tuesday 31st May – Amble: Fourways2, 6 Dilston Terrace, Amble, NE65 0DT

· Wednesday 1st June – Hartlepool: Borough Hall, Constables Lounge, The Headland, Hartlepool

· Thursday 2nd June – Scarborough: Scarborough Sea Cadets HQ, East Sandgate, Scarborough Sea Front, (adjacent to the ‘Newcastle Packet’)

· Friday 3rd June – Wells Next the Sea The Golden Fleece, The Quay, Wells next the Sea

· Monday 6th June – Padstow:  National Lobster Hatchery, South Quay, Padstow, PL28 8BL

· Tuesday 7th June – Newlyn: Fishermen’s Mission, Ship Institute, North Pier, Newlyn, Penzance TR18 5JB

· Wednesday 8th June – Mevagissey: Mevagissey Social Club, Jetty Street, Mevagissey, St Austell, PL26 6UH

· Thursday 9th June – Plymouth: Plymouth Fish Market Auction Room

· Friday 10th June – Seaton: Seaton Social Club @ Wilstons, Beach Road, Seaton, Devon EX12 2LZ

· Monday 20th June – Hastings: East Hastings Sea Angling Association, The Stade, Hastings

· Tuesday 21st June – Shoreham (Venue to be confirmed)

· Wednesday 22nd June – Poole: Arndale Court Hotel, 62-66 Wimborne Road, Poole BH15 2BY

· Thursday 23rd June – Whitehaven (venue to be confirmed)

· Friday 24th June – Blackpool (Venue to be confirmed)