Quota increases for UK fisherman

Cod Quotas of North Sea Cod are up 10% for the UK. Image courtesy of Hans-Petter Fjeld/ Wikimedia

UK fisherman will benefit from significant quota increases for key stocks following UK Government negotiations with the EU.

Total fishing opportunities worth more than GB£750m were agreed at this year’s stock negotiations and include an increase in quotas of North Sea Cod (10%), Haddock (23%) and Monkfish (20%). Stocks of both cod and haddock are now accredited as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.

Speaking after the negotiations in Brussels, Fisheries Minister George Eustice, said: "The UK has long championed sustainable fishing and that is starting to yield results in some areas with a recovery in key stocks and increased quota as a result.”

Further challenges

Challenges remain in some parts of the country where the latest scientific evidence means further restraint is needed. For example, in the Celtic Sea to revive stocks of haddock and megrim.

However, there were increased quotas such as Western Skates and Rays (+15%), Bristol Channel Plaice (+49%), Sole (+9%) and Celtic Sea Cod (+11%).

Notably, a further package of measures has been agreed on sea bass in an attempt to reverse the decline around the English coast.

Mr Eustice added: “Challenges remain in areas like the Celtic sea and on iconic species such as bass so further restrictions have been needed.

“As we prepare to leave the EU, we will place science based fisheries management at the heart of future policy."

The increased stocks for North Sea cod and haddock will provide a welcome boost for Scotland.

In Northern Ireland, the UK secured quota increases for cod (+377) and haddock (+55) in the Irish Sea.

The UK Government also declared its support for the EU Commission’s proposal to introduce tougher controls on eel fishing.

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