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Criticism of 'Oversimplified' EU Fisheries Solution

by 5m Editor
2 September 2009, at 1:00am

SCOTLAND, UK - Scottish Fishermen's Federation (SFF) has responded to the EC Commissioner's suggestion on scrapping quotas in favour of effort control.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the SFF, commenting on the suggestion on 31 August by EU Fisheries Commissioner, Joe Borg, that annual catch limits (quotas) should be scrapped and replaced with an annual allowance of 'days-at-sea'.

He said: "If the Fisheries Commissioner is genuinely suggesting that catch limits should be scrapped, then he would probably be killed in the rush at the quayside to accept the offer.

"But I am equally sure that if radical simplification is being offered, then scrapping of days at sea would be the first choice at the same quayside. Every fisherman will agree that there must be an enforced limit to what can be taken from the sea – nobody wants to see overfishing and the consequent downward spiral of commercial suicide. However, the consequences of using days at sea as the only control measure will require a great deal more thought. It is at best unpredictable and may, for some fisheries create more problems than it solves.

"Simplification of the present ridiculously detailed body of legislation covering fishing – some 800 separate pieces of legislation and regulation – is desperately needed; headline-grabbing simple solutions to inescapably complicated problems may not provide the correct answer. Nevertheless, it is an encouragement that the Commissioner is prepared to be truly radical and look at all options. We will, therefore, be asking him as a matter of urgency for more detail on what he is actually proposing."

5m Editor