Firstly, a huge apology to all our readers for the unheralded and far too long break in this blog. There were good reasons for it, to do with health, both human and computer. However, the FAL blog is once again operations and we start with a few news items to whet everybody's appetite.
The Western Morning News reports that there will be CCTV cameras fitted to fishing boats to ensure that no discards are perpetrated. We should welcome the ban but it ought to be pointed out that the whole problem of discards was a symptom not the cause - the cause remains the Common Fisheries Policy, which remains a centralized structure where decisions are taken for political reasons at the heart of the EU. Maybe George Eustice does not realize this. FAL is ready to provide him with the necessary information.
This could be of interest to fishing organizations and individual fishermen who have something to contribute to the discussion. On March 31, a package of consultations was launched concerning the implementation of reforms to the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Here, incidentally, is the consultation letter that may well have gone out to some of this blog's readers but can be asked for if not. And here is the Consultation Document that requires responses from fishermen and their representatives.
Finally, some news that might not be directly relevant to many readers but is of interest because of what it implies in political terms. Undercurrent News reports that
The European Union, Iceland, Norway and the Faroe Islands have agreed to increase the total allowable catch (TAC) of Northeast Atlantic blue whiting by 86% for 2014.
It will not escape our readers' attention that Iceland, Norway and the Faroe Islands do their own negotiating, which the UK does not and neither will an "independent" Scotland within the EU, should such an entity come about.