Benyon: more flexibility with devolved fishing quotas

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Management of the UK’s fishing quotas is to be devolved to allow for greater flexibility, fisheries minister Richard Benyon has announced.

The UK, Scottish and Welsh governments, as well as the Northern Irish Executive, will each be allocated an annual share of the total UK fishing quota for distribution to their fleets.

Currently, the UK government allocates quota directly to fishermen and fish producer organisations.

The distribution to the three devolved governments – and the retention of quota by the UK – will be based on the number of boats in each area and the quota they already receive.

Defra claimed the move will allow each nation to adapt quota allocations to best suit fleets in different parts of the UK.

By giving each nation greater control of quotas, the UK could be able to be more flexible on how quota was allocated to individual boats, said Benyon (pictured).

“This will enable the UK to move quota around to where it is needed and as a result we hope to see a reduction in discards,” he said.

There will be no permanent split to the quota, which will remain as a single UK quota as far as the EU is concerned. The amount of quota distributed to each constituent country will be open to negotiation each year.

Readers' comments (1)

  • I cannot see how this will work if local governments are as I understand, selling quotas to the fishing industry. In otherwords, the bigger companies will have the right to fish and the small man will not get a look in. This will mean increased fishing in area's already under threat from low stock.
    It would make more sense that area's of depleted stock are left alone and equal rights with financial help to the fishing groups in area's where over fishing in the past has depleted the stocks and new life can evolve. it has been shown that within five years if an area is left alone, that stocks will increase where managed fishing could be sustained.
    i also hope that the EU will be overturned with the amount of dead fish that are thrown back overboard becouse the wrong fish have been caught. How stupid is that?
    Please let us see a little, no a lot more common sense within the fishing industry and please, any Government people out their, this is not about your personnal gain but the rights and what is right for people and for Countries to do what is right for the enviroment because we are running out of time for our seas.

    Phil groves

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