UK lobbies for a fair deal

11 Dec 2014

Ahead of this year’s December Council the UK government has said that it will lobby hard to deliver a fair deal for the fishing industry.

During negotiations next week, fishing quotas across Europe will be decided. This follows months of UK government-led meetings with fishermen, devolved administrations and environmental NGOs to discuss priorities in order to represent the entirety of UK fisheries and secure the best possible deal.

Early agreements reached between the EU and Norway on fishing opportunities in the North Sea for 2015 have already brought an excellent result for the UK. Fishermen will now get a 5% increase in annual quota for cod, a 7% rise in North Sea haddock and a 15% rise in plaice quotas.

Negotiations with the Faroe Islands have also delivered additional quota for UK fishermen, particular whitefish vessels in Scotland and opportunities to catch a number of species in Faroese waters. This includes a further 817 tonnes of cod and/or haddock and 696 tonnes of saithe.

Defra says that these early agreements are an encouraging sign that the government is achieving wins for UK fisheries ahead of December Council.

UK Fisheries Minister George Eustice will now be representing the UK to agree a fair deal for UK fishermen, and ensure next year’s total allowable catch (TACs) take into account the pelagic stocks subject to the discard ban which comes into force in January 2015.

Commenting ahead of the meeting, George Eustice said, “I’m committed to supporting our world class fishing industry and will be aiming to deliver a fair deal for our fishermen across the UK. To do this we’ll be using the best and most up to date science available to make the right decisions for our stocks and fishing fleets that depend on them.”

Negotiations in Brussels begin on Monday and will be concluded by Wednesday 17 December.

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