Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Discarding the red herring

Responding to the pressure cooked up by the TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall nthe European Commission is talking about banning discards.

But is going to do it whilst keeping quota. So while some fish will not be caught in vain it does nothing for fishermen.

The statement by Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries is instructive on this. Firstly despite the hype you will hear about this we are not seeing the introduction of a ban,
" I am considering proposing a discard ban as part of the CFP reform proposals"
Considering is not quite the same thing as banning, I suspect you might agree.
The question then is which management system to choose, in order to manage fish stocks. One possibility would be to only manage our mixed fisheries with an effort system. The idea is to preserve relative stability by translating the relative stability in quotas into a relative stability in effort for mixed fisheries. Such a management system is relatively simple as all catches would need to be landed. Control is also easy as the time spent at sea can be easily controlled by the vessel monitoring system.

Another possibility is the catch quota system with by catch quotas. All catches would have to be counted against quotas and then later against the by catch quotas. In such a system it would also be necessary that Member States allocate quotas more in line with the real possible catches of their vessels. A catch quota system would need guarantees that it would work, because it will be more complicated.
As you see the quota system will be retained, rather than basing things on days at see. Thus it will not help fishermen. And finally, just to get you civil  liberties types interested is this little snippet.
We will need CCTV or observers on board vessels above a certain length
At what cost? Both in privacy in supervision and in simple finance?


Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...


I have to tell you that "observers" are supposed to have been monitoring EU fisheries on board the vessels for 8 years+ to my certain knowledge.

Their reports have been simply tossed in the bin by bent bureaucrats often in receipt of money from fish companies who substitute their own figures.

It's a racket pure and simple. It's a racket that pretty well goes about it's business as bold as brass, in plain sight, like many other EU broken projects that our state broadcaster deliberately doesn't tell you about.

A procession of utterly clueless and worthless gits have filled the fisheries minister position in the UK, the Sir Humphreys have used fishing as a pawn in their selfish games and UK taxpayers and UK fishermen have paid the price.

It's a rotten shambles.

Gawain Towler said...

My understanding is that observers are on the bigger boats, I am not sure if CCTV is on the smaller ones yet.

And yes they are functionally useless, normally recruited from the same stock as the fishermen. A little like the old story about the south London familes where one son graduated from Hendon, the other from Pentonville.

derek.buxton1 said...

This is a complete sham anyway, no way are the French and Spanish going to give up using our waters. Oh, yes, they don't bother with little things like quotas, they just land what they want.