Fishermen angry at European Union decision to reduce number of days at sea

Britain’s fishermen have condemned a European Union deal on fishing which will   keep their boats tied up for longer as a “bitter blow” to the   industry.

Although the British fishing fleet will be allowed to catch bigger quotas, it   faces an estimated 15 to 25 per cent cut in the number of days at sea   following marathon talks which ended at dawn on Saturday in Brussels. As a result of the deal the UK’s fleet will be confined to port for longer   than ever. That will make it hard for trawlers to take advantage of some big rises in   fish catch quotas agreed following the success of conservation measures in   some regions. Britain fended off moves to cut fishermen’s days at sea to just four a   fortnight next year, in exchange for greater national fish conservation   efforts. But boats will still be confined to ports for longer than before. The number of days each vessel is allowed out will be cut from 105 days a year   to 90, though vessels will be able to ‘buy back’ extra days by avoiding cod   fishing as part of tougher environmental protection measures. Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, hit   out at the cuts in days at sea, saying: “While fishing opportunity in   terms of tonnage has always been vital, this time around it was the granting   of enough time at sea to actually catch the fish that was under threat. “This is a bitter blow for our fishing fleet, which is now going to   struggle to maintain economic viability under the impact of these totally   unwarranted cuts. “Effort control (by cutting days at sea) is fundamentally flawed as a   fisheries management measure and the Commission has totally ignored the real   progress in stock conservation in Scotland in recent years through   unilateral conservation measures that have helped boost stock recovery. Our   whole industry is now facing a very difficult future.”

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Categories: Europe, UK

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