NFFO hold 'constructive' first meeting with new fisheries minister –

NFFO hold ‘constructive’ first meeting with new fisheries minister Published:  06 July, 2010

A DELEGATION from the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO) says it has had a constructive meeting with the new Fisheries Minister Richard Beynon.

The talks outlined the industry’s areas of concern, built on the time when he was Shadow Fishing Minister. The meeting covered a wide range is issues including cod recovery and effort control, proposes reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, catch quotas including the maximum sustainable yield approach to nest year’s total allowable catches and Iceland plans over Western mackerel. The Irish Sea anaphors fishery and problems arising from the growth in offshore wind farms also came up for discussion.

Although the large number of issues meant each could only be dealt with briefly, the Minister acknowledged their significance and agreed to  work collaboratively with the NFFO on them  over the next few months.

Mr Beynon also reported back on the recent Council of Minister meeting in Luxembourg and revealed that he welcomed the commitment to radical changes of the CFP and EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki’s touch stance with Iceland over mackerel. She also signalled her intention to”follow science” on Western Channel sole and area V11 nephrops.On cod recovery and whiting discards the Minister agreed that it was imperative to find “a smarter way of rebuilding stocks” than the current arrangements.

He has  already expressed enthusiasm for the Federation’s ideas on replacing prescriptive micro-management and the top-down approach with sustainable fishing plans and this will be one of the key innovations pressed by the UK within the forthcoming CFP reform.The NFFO said afterwards that it found the meeting useful, providing a solid foundation on which to build an effective working relationship.