Monday, 19 December 2011

Let us begin

We shall have much to say about the agreement reached at the end of the Fishing Council on Saturday, but let us begin by linking to an article by Patrick Sawer in the Daily Telegraph.

The title is: Fishermen angry at European Union decision to reduce number of days at sea. It is perfectly understandable that fishermen should be angry at this decision:

Although the British fishing fleet will be allowed to catch bigger quotas, it faces an estimated 15 to 25 per cent cut in the number of days at sea following marathon talks which ended at dawn on Saturday in Brussels. As a result of the deal the UK’s fleet will be confined to port for longer than ever. That will make it hard for trawlers to take advantage of some big rises in fish catch quotas agreed following the success of conservation measures in some regions. Britain fended off moves to cut fishermen’s days at sea to just four a fortnight next year, in exchange for greater national fish conservation efforts. But boats will still be confined to ports for longer than before.
On the other hand, the various organizations cannot be surprised. This was on the cards all along: there would be cuts in days at sea to accommodate the demands for the elimination of discards and, at the same time, to make it possible for all the CFP fleets to go on fishing in what is designated as Community waters. This is, after all, a common policy. Nor shall the problems be solved until we are out of it and are in a position to make our own decisions to suit our own fishing industry.


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