Cuts to cod quota scrapped

Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael has welcomed news that the UK government has blocked automatic cuts to the cod quota and days at sea allowances during annual fisheries talks in Brussels.

Under the terms of the Cod Recovery Plan, fishermen from the Isles faced sizeable cuts in the number of days they were able to fish and the total amount of cod they were allowed to land. After discussion of the issue at the annual end of year EU fisheries talks, the planned automatic cuts were scrapped. Member states agreed that the best available science should be used to set limits for quota and fishing effort.

Following the announcement, UK fisheries Minister Richard Benyon MP confirmed the UK would continue to work to reform the Common Fisheries Policy. Mr Benyon visited Shetland last month and met local fishermen.

Mr Carmichael was pleased to hear the cuts had been blocked. He said: “Fishermen in the Isles have argued for years that arbitrary cuts in quota and effort made no sense whatsoever. Whether you are looking at the environmental impact of these cuts or the economic consequences on our local fleet, the automatic reductions that had been proposed under the Cod Recovery Plan made no sense.

“It is essential that decisions on quota and effort are based on the best available scientific evidence, not the detail of a plan that was not really fit for purpose when it was introduced and has not aged well.

“This was one of the issues that was raised with the UK fisheries Minister when he visited Shetland recently. It would seem that he took the points that local fisherman made to heart. There is much work that remains to be done but this is a positive development.”


Add Your Comment
  • Leslie Lowes

    • December 20th, 2012 0:57

    About time too. Britain’s politicians need to listen more to Britain’s fishermen who make their livelihoods from the fish around our shores and know very well what is good and bad for Britain’s fishing industry.

    Fishermen are not going to sell their own industry down the river, but politicians anxious to flex political muscle sometimes do. Maybe there is hope in the longer term that things are changing..

    Westminster politicians also need to have a better grasp of the fishing industry in Scotland which is the largest in the UK, both at sea and in processing on shore.

    European and British politicians now need to address the mackerel quota piracy that is being indulged in by Faroe and Iceland, which have severely compromised the market by flooding it with extremely cheap mackerel that they have stolen from what are common European stocks they wish to try and establish historic rights to. THere’s nothing historic about it – if they are challenged now. In two years, who knows?.


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