Scottish Fishermen’s Federation reacts to EU, Norway 2015 catching regs
Talks between the EU and Norway were finalized yesterday for shared fish stock catching opportunities in 2015. Overall, the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation had a positive reaction to the deal.
Under the agreement, the North Sea haddock quota will increase by 7 percent in accordance with scientific advice, while saithe and whiting will both fall by 15 percent. North Sea cod will increase by 5 percent, and for the pelagic fleet, herring will fall by 5 percent.
According to the Scottish Fisherman’s Federation, the agreement brings an element of stability for the Scottish whitefish fleet for next year. However, uncertainty remains for subsequent years when the landing obligation, or discard ban, will start to be enforced for this sector.
“Pragmatic decisions were made at these negotiations and the increase in North Sea cod in particular recognizes the realities of managing complex mixed fisheries and the need for sensible balances,” said Bertie Armstrong, Chief Executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation.
The conclusion of the EU/Norway negotiations sets the scene for final decision-making for a range of other stocks at the European Fish Council meeting in Brussels beginning on 15 December.
“These EU/Norway negotiations … are the last set of talks to take place between the two parties before the introduction of the landing obligation for the demersal sector in 2016,” said Armstrong. “This means that this year’s crucial December Fish Council presents an important opportunity to agree on catch opportunity levels that reflects both the actual abundance of fish stocks and the requirement to reduce discards.”