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Wednesday, 10 July 2013

NFFO responds to High Court ruling on quota reallocation

"The NFFO represents all sizes of vessel and regrets that the issue of quota distribution ended up in the courts. Indeed the Federation made a number of attempts to mediate between the parties to achieve an amicable out-of- court solution.

"We remain of the view that now the CFP reform is out of the way, the industry should sit down with Government to agree a system of use-rights that provide the stability that the industry looks for, whilst recognising that fish are a national resource and that ministers have the authority to make changes to the UK quota management arrangements.

"We doubt whether this judgement heralds a radical redistribution of quota, as suggested by some of the more hysterical commentators and note Richard Benyon's commendation at the NFFO's recent AGM for our collaborative approach to resolving the quota shortages facing some under-10 metre vessels.

"Producer organisations are voluntary groups of fishermen who manage their fishing rights cooperatively. As such they represent a valuable model for the industry and are to be encouraged. The NFFO has been working recently to extend the advantages of professional quota management (such as quota swaps and transfers) to groups of under-10m fishermen."

Barrie Deas, Chief Executive of the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations (NFFO)

Then a comment from the SFF
10 July 2013

Commenting on the High Court decision today on the reallocation of fish quotas, Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen' Federation said:

"We need to examine the ruling closely so as to see the reasoning behind the decision, but it should be pointed out that fishermen have been adhering to a quota system created by government and have followed it in good faith.

"It remains to be seen what the impact will be in Scotland because the make-up of the fleet and the species caught is different compared with south of the border.

"However, it is important to make the point that small-scale inshore boats simply don't have the capacity to catch large amounts of quota and are also not able to operate in offshore areas. Similarly, larger boat operators have no desire to see the demise of the inshore fleet, and vice versa. To ensure the continuing supply of an incredibly important food resource, a sensible balance needs to be maintained. If there are any reallocations to be made eventually as a consequence of the High Court decision, consultation with all parts of the industry and great care will be needed."