UK challenges "inconsistent" over-fishing penalties – Fishupdate.com

UK challenges “inconsistent” over-fishing penalties Published:  24 April, 2007

Ben Bradshaw

THE UK Government has written to the European Commission to complain about “inconsistent” policing of the Common Fisheries Policy, a minister said today.

British quotas for mackerel and herring were cut earlier this year as a penalty for over-fishing.

But despite France over-fishing bluefin tuna for the last two years, the Commission has yet to propose any sanctions.

Environment Minister Ben Bradshaw said: “It would be inconsistent for the European Commission to apply the rules on payback to the UK for its declared over-fishing of mackerel and herring, but not to do so on the over-fishing of bluefin tuna declared by France.

“I have … written to the Fisheries Commissioner (Joe Borg) explaining my dissatisfaction with the approach being taken. We await a response from the Commission.”

France declared over-fishing in 2005 by 2,572 tons of tuna, 38% more than it was allowed to catch.

Unconfirmed figures from last year suggest over-fishing by 1,826 tons, 27% more than its quota.

Mr Bradshaw said he had raised the issue at a meeting of agriculture and fisheries ministers on April 18 and would do so again next month.

Britain and Ireland face quota cuts of 15% per year for the next five years because of over-fishing.

At the time the punishment was announced, Commissioner Borg warned: “Excessive quota landings have a cost not only on account of their impact on fish stocks but also in economic and social terms for the industry.”

www.fishupdate.com is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.