EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.

ScotGov: Fisheries negotiations on new technical conservation measures concluded in Brussels on 21 November 2009. Responding to the outcome, Fisheries Minister Richard Lochhead joined the Scottish fishing industry in expressing relief that proposed new regulations from the European Commission were thrown out in favour of continuing existing rules.
 
However, measures that put severe catch composition rules on whitefish vessels operating on the West Coast (adopted on an emergency basis last year) are to be extended up to a further 18 months. Mr Lochhead branded the decision "extremely disappointing and a serious breach of faith".  
 
When it became clear that the new technical conservation regulation was not going to get support from Member States, the Commission proposed rolling over the existing regulation. This unexpectedly included prolonging measures on the West Coast instead of being allowed to expire - as promised to Scotland last year. The UK, backed by the Scottish Government, therefore took the highly unusual step of voting against the final package.
Press release ~ ScotGov: Fisheries ~ Have your say on Common Fisheries Policy (By 30 November 2009) ~ Impact of the Cod Recovery Plan ~ Profitable Futures for Fishing ~ Fuel Task Force ~ Scottish Fisheries Council (SFC) ~ EU press release – phasing out of discards ~ Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) ~ EU cod recovery plan ~ EC published proposals ~ Fisheries Research Services ~ EC - Fisheries ~ BBC: Wasted catches hit Europe's cod
 
NE: Due to the timing of new mapping data from the Rural Land Register (RLR) and enhancements to Environmental Stewardship, Natural England will need to make short-term changes to the processing of new ELS agreements.
 
NE is minimising the impact of these changes on their customers, but NE’s ELS Online system will be taken offline and application packs for ELS (including Organic ELS) will not be issued.  HLS will be unaffected.
 
The temporary suspension of ELS Online & application packs will run from 4 December 2009 to late January 2010, although farmers will still be able to join ELS by returning a valid paper application to NE before Christmas.  Farmers who cannot do this will be able to see the scheme changes in new handbooks available online from early December. ELS Online & ELS application packs will be made available again at the end of January.  Any applications received in February will be given a 1 March 2010 start date.
Press release ~ Summary of the changes to Environmental Stewardship ~ Rural Land Register (RLR) ~ HLS ~ ELS Online system
Reduced financial uncertainty for customers and significant financial savings for Councils.