MCS says quota announcement is step in right direction
The Government is calling today’s (20th December 2012) quota agreements a successful step towards sustainable fisheries in Europe and after the fantastic vote by the fisheries committee earlier this week on discards and hours at sea, hopes were high.
However there still seems to be a lack of ambition shown by the Council of Ministers – who are undoubtedly moving in the right direction but only, says MCS Fisheries Policy Officer, Deborah Crockard, at a pace a snail would be proud of.
As a result the “wins” highlighted by Defra today really only tell half the story:
Celtic sea – proposed haddock cut of 55% reduced to 15% - while the commissions proposed cut of 55% was more ambitious than that proposed by ICES. However, ICES still advised that on the basis of the MSY transition that landings should be no more than 9500tonnes – a 43% reduction in catch.
South West – 20% cut to Megrim avoided – ICES advised a cut in quota for 2013 therefore freezing the quota goes against scientific advice.
West of Scotland – 40% cut to megrim quota reduced to 7% - this appears to be in line with the advice produced by ICES
Channel plaice – in line with scientific advice
Channel Sole – in line with scientific advice
West of Scotland and Irish sea nephrops – the west of Scotland increase is in line with scientific advice, however the Irish sea is above that advised by ICES.
Celtic Sea whiting – is in line with the advice from the commission for reaching MSY
Irish sea herring – is inline with ICES advice.
MCS says some of this is really positive and some is less so. Following scientific advice should be a priority for the Council of Ministers and where it is not followed the reasoning behind this disparity should be communicated clearly.