UK imposes new controls on fishing vessels – Fishupdate.com

UK imposes new controls on fishing vessels Published:  16 September, 2004

THE UK has introduced new controls on fishing vessels.

The measures, being undertaken by Fisheries departments in the UK,

include:

* extension of the UK’s designated landing port (DLP) arrangements to

vessels over 15 metres, with effect from 1 October;

* an undertaking to consult the industry fully on the possibility of

replacing the existing system of criminal proceedings for breaches of

fisheries offences with a system of administrative penalties as part

of the government’s response to the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit

Report;

* the use of targeted control measures against individual vessels

believed to be engaged in illegal or suspicious activity; and

* the introduction of a new licence condition to safeguard hake,

megrim and anglerfish stocks in ICES Areas VI and VII, with effect

from 1 October.

Ben Bradshaw, the UK fishing minister, said: “I welcome these further steps to protect fish stocks though better

enforcement. They will produce benefits for both the environment and

the industry.”

He continued: “We have sought to extend the designated landing ports arrangements

in line with steps being taken at EU level. However we have listened

carefully to what the industry has said and have decided to exclude

smaller vessels and vessels with only small quantities of quota

species on board from the full rigour of the arrangements. This will

ensure that controls are targeted on vessels where the enforcement

risk is greatest and avoid placing unnecessary burdens on small

vessels.”

The announcement of consultation on decriminalisation of fishing skippers for landing over-quota fish was a clear attempted sop to fishermen.

Mr Bradshaw added: “The Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, in its Net Benefits report, has recognised the importance of the introduction of a system of administrative penalties as a way of to move away from

criminalising fishermen. We are keen to continue to work with the

industry and other stakeholders on finding solutions to this and will

be consulting further on administrative penalties, to simplify and

improve certainty, as part of the response to that report.”

The new measures will apply in Scotland and were publicised through a news release from the Scottish fishing minister Ross Finnie.