Thursday, 18 June 2020

Fisheries Bill amendments considered by the Lords. Some technical, but others that have wider importance - read on

From his Twitter feed: Richard Barnes, professor of Law at Hull and maitime expert focussed his attention on the amendments to the Fisheries Bill going before the Lords today:

"A list of amendments to the the Fisheries Bill will be considered by the Lords. Some technical, but others that have wider importance....… 

First is to designate fish ‘a common resource owned by the United Kingdom on behalf of its citizens.’ This will frame future policy on how quota rights are held and distributed... and marks a stand against ‘accidental privatisation’. Although this did not constrain Iceland.. 

This is complemented by an innovative provision on distribution of fishing opportunities that actually contains allocation principles, and another that seeks to create allowances for new entrants.

Several amendments seek to elevate sustainability concerns, for example by giving primacy to sustainability objective, or requiring stocks to be managed beyond sustainable level, or to require pursuit of sustainability objective even if decisions not to follow JFS or plan made. 

Amendment of the bycatch objective would focus on outcomes rather than process, which could avoid perverse incentives.. And to take account of shared stock issues through cooperation with neighbouring states. Another clause aims to require Government’s to sustain UK fishing industry workforce. 

A national landings requirement would further shore up the economic base of the sector. Several provisions seek to tighten up the management plans, including specification of consultees. 

Although non-sector voices such as environmental groups or anglers might want a mention Effort to shore up monitoring and compliance through clear requirements to introduce remote electronic monitoring.. 

Overall some really valuable scrutiny and options to enhance the Bill. This risk is that some of these will be left out to ensure maximum flexibility in the framework."