Scottish fishing scores GBP 45 million boost from annual catch negotiations
Scotland’s fishing industry is set to benefit from additional fishing opportunities worth GBP 45 million (USD 57 million, EUR 53.6 million) next year, following the annual EU catch negotiations in Brussels, confirmed Fergus Ewing, Scottish fisheries secretary.
The overall package, which was finalized at December Council, includes increased fishing quotas for 16 out of 23 key Scottish stocks, including cod, saithe and mackerel. Deals negotiated included strong increases of GBP 12 million (USD 15.2 million, EUR 14.3 million) for nephrops and GBP 5 million (USD 6.3 million, EUR 6 million) for monkfish.
There was also an extra 1,500 metric tons (MT) of Arctic cod quota coming to the United Kingdom following an increase at the EU/Norway talks.
Furthermore, the talks secured extra flexibility around where vessels are able to fish. This will remove current constraints around fishing for northern shelf haddock and provide more choice over fishing grounds, resulting in reduced costs for vessels.
“The fishing industry is a vital part of our rural economy, which is why it’s good news that we’ve secured crucial increases for the majority of our key species,” Ewing said. “To achieve improved deals for 16 out of 23 of our key stocks is a very satisfactory outcome for the Scottish fleet and one that’s been strongly welcomed by the senior industry representatives in Brussels. I’m delighted that our long-standing calls to give vessels greater flexibility around where they can fish, have been answered, and from 2017 our fleet will be able to make use of this new provision.”
The December Council is the culmination of all the year-end negotiations where everything is finalized. The actual stocks under negotiation at the council are known as internal stocks, and they include monkfish, west coast saithe, west coast whiting, megrim, skates and rays, west coast haddock, plaice, sole and nephrops.
Each member state, and then Scotland as part of the United Kingdom, is allocated quotas for each stock.