The Fisheries Bill is mentioned in the December Queen’s Speech page 19 as is the Environment Bill
NFFO comment on the The Year Ahead – the negotiation
Bass angling perspective – bag limit increase to 2 – Save our Sea bass
Guardian commentary on the outcomes of CFP Meeting in December:
EU ministers opt to continue overfishing, despite 2020 deadline
Guardian ‘Europe’s fish populations will continue to be over-exploited despite a longstanding 2020 deadline for setting fishing quotas at sustainable levels, after ministers from across the EU forced through higher limits than scientists advised.
Key species such as cod in the west of Scotland and Irish Sea, some herring stocks, sole and plaice in the Celtic Sea, pollack in western waters, and ling and tusk in the north-east Atlantic, will all be under renewed and unsustainable pressure, according to campaigners. Quotas for some species were increased from last year, despite advice that they should be brought down.
“The limits agreed by ministers suggest that progress to end overfishing has stalled or even reversed,” said Andrew Clayton of the Pew Charitable Trusts. “This is especially disappointing for 2020, the legal deadline in the common fisheries policy to end overfishing. Missing the deadline means putting stocks such as cod under heavy pressure in 2020, even though their populations are at critical levels.”
The quota for haddock in the North Sea for the UK was raised by 23% and UK catches of sole in the western Channel raised by 19%. George Eustice, the UK fisheries minister, defended the decisions made at a tense meeting that ended early on Wednesday morning: “This year there has been some very challenging science for cod stocks in many parts of the north-east Atlantic, and we have responded to conserve stocks. I know that some of the quota reductions will be very difficult for some sectors of the industry – however, we know that to protect the profitability of fisheries in the future, we must fish sustainably today.”
He condemned the EU’s “outdated method for sharing quota” among member states, saying it meant the UK got a “very small share of the cod in our own waters”, but pledged that would be reconsidered after Brexit. The UK would also put in place its own policies to ensure fish catches were managed sustainably, he said. The UK will still have to negotiate with EU member states and non-EU nations such as Norway and Iceland over shared fishing grounds after Brexit.
In an all-night meeting in Brussels, the ministers at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council failed to meet their own targets and deadlines on sustainable fishing, under pressure from their national fleets. Click here to read more