News

No Norway Agreement for 2021

It has become clear that there will be no UK/Norway bilateral fisheries agreement for 2021. At a heads of delegation meeting today (29th April) Norway rejected a UK offer and it was concluded that the talks which have been under way since January could go no further.

Need Should be Basis For Additional Quota

The NFFO has written to the Secretary of State, George Eustice, arguing that additional quota secured from the EU should be first and foremost use to address cases where acute quota shortages threaten the viability of fishing vessels.

Fishing Quota Allocation: Developing a new approach for allocating additional fishing quota in England

Defra have consulted on how any additional quota, obtained as the UK renegotiates its fisheries relationship with the EU as it leaves the Common Fisheries Policy, should be distributed. The NFFO have submitted the following response.

Fisheries Council December 2018

The last Fisheries Council in which the UK will participate as an EU member state concluded in the early hours of 19th December. It was dominated by issues relating to chokes in mixed fisheries, particularly those for which zero catch advice had been given. As expected, whilst some progress was made at the Brussels meeting, many difficult issues remain to be resolved in the New Year and beyond.

2017 Council Overview

This was a different kind of December Council in a number of important ways. Many delegations were delayed by weather; UK fisheries Minister George Eustice returned early to London to participate in a crucial parliamentary vote; and we felt the sharp end of the EU’s inflexible approach to maximum sustainable yield. The Commission was in fact particularly intransigent throughout the negotiations. It also seemed to forget that the centrepiece of its policies is the landing obligation that fully comes into force on 1st January 2019 and that all TAC decisions ought to support, rather than undermine, that particular policy - which is going to be difficult enough to implement as it is.

December Council outcomes

The December Council, as usual, generated a mixed bag of winners and losers. The underlying science reflects a broad continuing trend towards improving stocks; but the legal obligation to achieve maximum sustainable yield for all stocks by 2020 is generating casualties, especially in the Channel and Celtic Sea, where in some cases, cuts of more than third on 2016 quotas have been made. (Celtic Sea Cod -38%, megrim 25%). More casualties can be expected next year and 2019 as the EU adheres to the arbitrary MSY timetable that it has set itself. It is frustration over inflexible policies such as these that has fuelled the UK fishing industry's enthusiasm for Brexit. There is a possibility that next year’s Council could be that last in which TACs and quotas are set in this way.

December Council outcomes

The December Council, as usual, generated a mixed bag of winners and losers. The underlying science reflects a broad continuing trend towards improving stocks; but the legal obligation to achieve maximum sustainable yield for all stocks by 2020 is generating casualties, especially in the Channel and Celtic Sea, where in some cases, cuts of more than third on 2016 quotas have been made. (Celtic Sea Cod -38%, megrim 25%). More casualties can be expected next year and 2019 as the EU adheres to the arbitrary MSY timetable that it has set itself. It is frustration over inflexible policies such as these that has fuelled the UK fishing industry's enthusiasm for Brexit. There is a possibility that next year’s Council could be that last in which TACs and quotas are set in this way.

December Council

The December Council remains (for the time being) an important date in the fishing calendar.