CONSERVATIVE MEP FOR SCOTLAND

EU-Norway fish talks - Ian Duncan welcomes haddock, herring and cod increases

07.12.2015.

Ian Duncan, the Conservative MEP for Scotland and Member of the Fisheries Committee of the European Parliament today expressed his delight with the outcome of the annual EU-Norway Fishing Negotiations where both cod and haddock have seen increases in their Total Allowable Catch (TAC) of 15% and 47.5% respectively- worth an estimated £11 million to the industry. North Sea Herring has also seen a large increase of 16% worth a potential £2 million.

Although decisions for every species have yet to be taken, the fishing industry should take comfort in the general agreement and this bodes well for next months EU Fishing Council when the final TAC for all species in EU waters will be decided.

The news on Plaice and Saithe was less positive, although the cuts recommended are covered by the proposed new Quota Uplift- the ‘top up’ given to fishermen to compensate for the new white fish discard ban which will be introduced for some species from January.

Commenting, Ian said,

“Let me be clear: on the whole this is a fantastic result for the Scottish fishing industry and I pay tribute to them and all the hard work and pain they have endured over the last decade or so to be in a position today that sees cod TAC increase by 15%  to 27,930 tonnes in EU waters. Considering where we were not that long ago, this in itself would be incredible. But the news for haddock; an increase of almost 50% and north sea herring; an increase of 16% on top of the cod figures leaves the industry in very good heart this evening. Obviously, the news isn't great all round and there will be many who continue to be frustrated by the ongoing wrangles over Blue Whiting, but even here there is some hope that even this issue could be resolved in the short term.

"The new Quota Uplifts are also to be welcomed. It is a very sensible step in the right direction and I know that it is a move that has been welcomed across the board.

"There are still great challenges facing our North Sea industry, the introduction of the Discard Ban for most demersal fisheries, despite the uplifts, will pose serious concern for our smaller ports in January. I continue to urge Richard Lochead and the Scottish Government to do more to offset the cost of implementing the new measures.

"For now though, on the announcements today, The UK government should be congratulated for fighting hard for Scottish fishermen and Scottish fishermen themselves should be praised indeed for everything they have done to get us to where we are today. We go into the EU Fishing Council in two weeks in a very good position."

Ends

Contact Andrew Johnston

Chief of Staff, Ian Duncan MEP

andrew.johnston@europarl.europa.eu