Quotas ‘must be based on science’

ANY future quotas once Britain leaves the EU should reflect the state of the resources in UK waters at the time, the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFF0) has declared.
The NFFO, which represents fishermen in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, said that when quota allocations were set up in 1983 as part of the Common Fisheries Policy relative stability was the intention.
But it was widely acknowledged that the interests of the UK’s fishing industry did not occupy a particularly high place in the UK government’s priorities at the time and, as a result, the UK’s Relative Stability allocations did not reflect a fair or reasonable share of the stocks which are fished in UK waters.
The NFFO said: ‘Our view is that as a matter of principle, as with any coastal state, the UK’s quota shares should reflect the resources present in our waters.
‘It may subsequently be in our interest to use some of these resources as currency to negotiate other fishing opportunities, or to secure access to European markets.
‘But the baselines for a post-Brexit fisheries regime should be the renegotiation of the UK’s quota shares to reflect the resources located in UK waters.’
As part of the recalibration of quota shares between the UK and EU, the NFFO said it expected the Hague Preference, or other mechanisms derived from the CFP, will no longer be relevant to the UK.
‘It is our view that the UK’s quota of stocks shared with other countries should be based on a scientifically robust objective evaluation of the resources located in the respective European Economic Zone (EEZ) .’