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Thursday, 8 August 2013

The UK Association of Fish Producer Organisations v. Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Cranston J, 10 July 2013

The recent judgemnetfound for the boats in the Under 10m sector - here's how:


The UK Association of Fish Producer Organisations v. Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Cranston J,  10 July 2013  read judgment 


Interesting alignment of parties in this challenge to Defra’s new system of allocating fish quota brought by an industry body (UKAFPO), in practice representing the larger fishing fleet – vessels over 10 metres in length –  Defra was supported by Greenpeace (how often does that happen?), and by the New Under Ten Fishermen’s Association. And this was because Defra had transferred some fishing quota from the larger to the smaller fishing fleet, namely those under 10 metres in length who fish inshore waters.

The first claim was that UKAFPO had a substantive legitimate expectation in their favour which was unlawfully frustrated by Defra’s change of policy. The second was that there was a breach of Article 1 of Protocol 1 (A1P1) of ECHR, or its EU analogue, Article 17 of the Charter. The third was that UKAFPO was being discriminated against unlawfully – comparable situations must not be treated differently under EU law, and only English fishermen who were members of English fish producers organisations were affected.

Fishing quota are set by the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, and allocated to member states. Member states then distribute the quota. UKAFPO get the quota and then distribute it amongst its members. Defra’s main purpose was to re-allocate unused quota from the over-10s to the under-10s.