UK fishermen given more flexibility on quotas

MORE  freedom to bank and borrow quota and funding for new fishing gear under the £43 million  European Maritime and Fisheries Fund has been announced by Fisheries Minister George Eustice. The move is part the government’s plans to help fishermen prepare for the new look  discard ban.
Speaking to an audience of fishermen the Minister set out how the latest phase of the discard ban will bring an end to the wasteful practice of throwing fish back overboard, alongside the important flexibilities the UK Government is putting in place to ensure it doesn’t impact negatively on their business.
This ‘demersal discard ban’—which will come into effect from January 2016 for fishermen targeting species such as haddock, sole and plaice—follows the successful introduction of a ‘pelagic’ ban in January.
Mr Eustice said: “If we want a profitable fishing industry and thriving coastal communities in the future it is vital that we fish sustainably today. That is why the reforms we have secured to the Common Fisheries Policy, which will put an end to the shameful practice of throwing perfectly good fish overboard, are so important.
“It is essential that we ban the practice of discarding fish, but we are also committed to introducing new flexibilities to help fishermen manage their quotas and will be giving more quota to the under 10 metre fleet.”
The announcement follows a consultation with industry this spring, and the government’s response sets out our plans to help fishermen adapt to the ban through:

  • The  European Maritime and Fishing Funding, says the government,   is available to purchase or develop new and innovative gear for more selective fishing and help industry to develop new markets for fish that were previously discarded.
  • IIt points out that increased quotas from the European Commission  are there to take account of the fact that discarding should no longer be occurring. And more freedom to exchange, bank or borrow quotas should give fishermen more flexibility.