have more control over how they operate and better opportunities
to profit under plans to overhaul the way fishing quotas are
managed in England, Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon announced
Proposals to simplify the way quotas (the amount of fish that
fishermen are entitled to catch) are managed would let the
industry plan better for the future, putting more control in the
hands of small-scale fishing fleets and fishing communities.
Richard Benyon said:
“Many fishermen are struggling to make a living, and the current
system for managing quota stocks isn’t helping. It doesn’t give
all English fishermen the freedom to fish for a share of the catch
at the most profitable time, which is what they need.”
“We need a simple, straightforward system that gives fishermen
more say, and gives the communities that have such strong links to
their fishing fleets the opportunity to invest and be involved in
the way their local fleet is managed.
“I want to see a fishing industry that’s much more integrated,
without arbitrary divisions mandated by Government. The industry
needs to be freed to fish so that all fishermen, and the ports
that rely on them, have the opportunity to thrive.”
The proposals for community quota schemes focus on safeguarding
small-scale fleets, enabling fishermen and other local businesses
and organisations to work together to manage their overall quotas
flexibly, along with increasing their ability to swap and purchase
quotas and connect better with markets. These groups would also
have a seat at the table in discussions with Government,
regulators and industry.
The plans also include:
The allocation of more stable and predictable entitlements to
fish across the whole English fleet, using Fixed Quota Allocations
(FQA);safeguards to protect small-scale fishing rights and prevent
concentration of rights in the large-scale fleet; andrealigning
fishing opportunities, moving some FQAs (including those
associated with consistently unfished quota) to provide incentives
for community quota schemes.
The consultation also seeks initial views on the potential
introduction of a rights-based management system for shellfish,
beginning with brown crab and lobster.
The consultation can be found at www.defra.gov.uk/consult/fisheries-1104/ .
Notes to editors
Small-scale fishing fleets and communities with fishing heritage
have the potential to deliver significant cultural, environmental
and economic benefits, but the current arrangements make it
difficult to maximise these benefits.
A set of proposals for fisheries management reform in England
have evolved from the Sustainable Access to Inshore Fisheries
(SAIF) project, which was established to look at finding long term
solutions to the difficulties facing the English under-10m fleet.
The proposals have been developed in consultation with industry
representatives, also drawing on the research and recommendations
of the SAIF Advisory Group, with the aim of placing the whole
English fleet onto a more sustainable footing.
Defra Press Office
Phone: 020 7238 6600
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