Tuesday, 13 December 2016

EU Fisheries Council annual negotiations - Day two in Brussels.

Mr Ewing said: “All our arguments are based on sound science. Hopefully, this evidence-based approach will deliver the best deal possible for Scottish fishermen.”

The annual December EU Fisheries Council meeting to bash out quota allocations for EU members is taking place in Brussels.  Here is today's agenda. This year, there is an added twist as the UK is sat at the negotiating table but a few months ahead of triggering Article 50 and its withdrawal from the EU and, by default, the CFPO

#Agrifish members round the table today in 2016.
The terms of that withdrawal are, like the entire post referendum Brexit plan, as yet, unclear. The words 'Take back control' were probably the most used by 'Leave' politicians keen to sell the idea of a Britain better off outside the EU club during and after the leave campaign. 

UK Fishing EEZ 

Other EU member states with big interests in the UK's rich fishing grounds are also passionately interested to see just what 'take back control' means for them. Many articles and blog posts have appeared voicing their concerns. Whatever the outcome, overall EU fish quotas are determined by scientific data - and that data comes from ICES - not the EU so once the EU Fisheries Council have determined national quotas it is down to the member states to further distribute those regionally - in the UK that process is managed by the MMO.

Politicians supporting Brexit often quote the apparent successful management of fish stocks by Norway and Iceland - perhaps this is a naive, simplistic (but politically expedient) approach as both countries are negotiating over a small number of species namely, cod, mackerel and herring 

Owen Patterson https://goo.gl/IMveHG
- whereas the UK will be negotiating with Denmark, Holland, France, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Ireland, Germany, Lithuania and others for access to cod, coley, plaice, lemon sole, Dover sole, megrim sole, hake, haddock, whiting, ling, bass, sandeel, tusk, boarfish, blue ling, dab, langoustine, herring, swordfish, tuna, ray, skate, dogfish, turbot, brill, halibut and halibut.  

#agrifish seating plan 2016

All of the current arrangements managed, with all its shortcomings by the current CFPO - something to bear in mind that given the mammoth task in re-negotiating any deals in order to 'take back control' the current government may simply continue to adopt, lock, stock and barrel.  Forewarnings are already there that the Great 'Repeal' Bill will make that the new reality.

The Great' Repeal' Bill has consequences for the industry above and beyond Brexit, hard or soft.

The approach taken by some ministers leveling unsubstantiated accusations at other countries with whom we will be trying to negotiate a better deal for us might make for good sound bites but not good for arguing our case.

Neil Parish  https://goo.gl/mLC2fO

At the end of the day, North Atlantic fish stocks - a shared resource - are significantly improving in many cases thanks to the application of EU, national and local control and a huge effort by many fishermen to fish sustainably with the confines of the CFPO.