Fishing boat

Fishing policy boost to local fishermen

Fishermen have welcomed changes to the Common Fisheries Policy that have left them with more rights and also seeks to address environmental issues.

The policy sets restrictions on fish quotas, total allowable catch, environmental guidelines and restrictions on mesh size of nets which lets small fish escape, allowing stocks to recover.

Farmers were asked about their thoughts on the Common Agricultural Policy while fishermen had their say on the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) during a four month review.

The CFP which has now come into effect has been largely welcomed by fishermen. Poole fisherman Rob Milton said of the review, “I didn’t think it’d be worth the paper it was written on, that it was a box ticking exercise, but they’ve actually listened and acted.”

“I didn’t think it’d be worth the paper it was written on, that it was a box ticking exercise, but they’ve actually listened and acted.” – Rob Milton, fisherman

The implementation of the CFP has brought more domestic control of British fisheries, including shellfisheries, and a future ban on discarding “unwanted” fish caught during operations.

Additionally a change to quota restrictions will give local fishermen more freedom to catch other species of fish.  The process of discarding caused by quota restrictions is thought to account for around 26% of all waste in England and Wales. It is hoped that these measures will help to protect fish stocks.

The calls for evidence had been a part of the Government’s Balance of Competences Review, which allowed fishermen and all those affected by EU policies to have their input on the debate.

The review consisted of think-tanks, academia, business, parliament, civil society and EU institutions. Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said, “This was a real opportunity for British industries to inform the national debate on Europe.”

The examination, which took four months, looked at the impact the EU has on farming and fishing in the UK.

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