UK secures sustainable future

19 Dec 2013
The UK fishing industry is set for a sustianable year

The UK fishing industry is set for a sustianable year

This year’s annual round of EU fisheries talks has proven successful for the UK fishing industry after it was agreed to freeze the number of days fishermen can go to sea.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) says this vital freeze gives fishermen the time they need to fish more selectively and avoid discarding perfectly good fish.

Fisheries Minister George Eustice said: “I entered these discussions with the firm belief that any decisions on quotas or days spent at sea need to be based on three clear principles: following scientific advice, fishing sustainably and the need for continued reduction in discarding.”

“Although these were difficult negotiations, I am please that we were able to secure the best possible deal for ensuring sustainable fisheries and a strong UK fishing industry,” he added.

North Sea cod quotas won’t be agreed until January, but DEFRA says it will be pushing for a quota for cod which is consistent with achieving Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) by 2015.

The UK also successfully negotiated cuts to a number of important fish quotas including haddock (cut by 42% in the Celtic Sea), monkfish (cut by 10% to West of Scotland), prawns (cut by 15% in the Irish Sea) and sole (cut to 18% in the Eastern Channel).

While fishing is becoming more sustainable, DEFRA says further work can be done to make fishing methods even more sustainable.

These were the first EU quota negotiations since agreeing the historic reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and DEFRA says it’s imperative that next year’s quotas are consistent with the CFP.

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