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If you don't like fish, go to Fish Cafe in Tobermory and have a meal, that'll change your mind about only eating meat that used to have legs.
fishing is a badly neglected industry that our governments in both london and edinburgh show only token regard to. The "Trawlermen" and other programmes make good TV and demonstrate the hard economic reality of meeting MCA coding, bank interest charges, crew wages, diesel costs, loss of gear etc vs the uncertainties of the price that you will get when you return to port and auction your catch. Where in the economic cycle is there any consideration to the fishermen to do anthing other than hoover up as big a catch as possible, keep the element of that which will pay the bills and discard the rest?
It is madness to discard good fish and all the fishermen would agree.
In the govt paper (lin below) there is section on process for setting quotas. The "fishing fleet" are identified in the process cycle, however do they really have a say?
Whatever the data, up to 800,000 tons of fish are being needlessly killed and dumped each year in our fisheries. The real message is yet again, the bureaucrats and their simple measurement systems, just like in other public sectors, are creating distortions and having unintended negative consequences. Changing the mindset of the bureaucrats and their political masters is the likley to be the most difficult chalenge of all!
I don't know what the answer is but continuing to do the same things and expecting to get a different result ... isn't that the definition fo insanity?
from the scottish govt paper on fishing quotas for 2011:http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/busin ... B10-63.pdf
Discards are fish that are caught and thrown back into the sea; in most cases the fish are thrown back dead or do not survive. According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (2005), which was based on data from 1992 to 2001, total annual discards in the North Sea were between 500,000 and 880,000 tonnes. Landings of fish species over this period were around 2 million tonnes per year (ICES 2005 table 126.96.36.199)
The European Commission has identified several reasons why discarding occurs:
The system of quotas obliges fishermen to discard fish for which they have no quota.
Relative stability and the mismatch between quotas and catches results in discards
Minimum landing sizes require the discarding of undersized fish
National implementation of fish quotas can contribute to the problem where it does not
allocate quotas according to the catches of fleets
Fish are discarded for economic reasons. Many species have low or no-commercial
value. Fishermen also discard landable fish to save space on board for bigger higher
value fish of the same species, so-called 'highgrading'.
There is general agreement that discarding is a waste of resources, and that it should be reduced. The European Commission (2007) produced a consultation paper in 2007 on reducing
by-catches and discards. In April 2008 the Commission produced a consultation on how
discards could be reduced in two fisheries – Nephrops fisheries in ICES Area VII (the Irish Sea,
Channel and seas to the West of Ireland), and the beam trawl fishery for plaice/sole in the North
Sea (neither fishery is of importance to the Scottish fleet) (European Commission 2008). It
proposes a Maximum Acceptable By-catch Limit (MABL) after five to six years, with
intermediate targets in the preceding years. Vessels would not be allowed to discard by-catches
in excess of the MABL. The Commission stated that “this approach will be gradually extended to
all other European fisheries.” The Commission has also stated its intention to reduce discarding
through measures adopted as part of the reform of the CFP.
The Scottish Government‟s website has some information on the measures that are being
implemented by the Scottish fleet to reduce discards:
“The Scottish Government takes the issue of discard reduction very seriously and has
supported EU-led initiatives to promote discard reduction as well as implementing its own
measures. Scotland actively promotes a fisheries management system which allows
vessels to "catch less, land more". We are keen to ensure that our precious natural
resources are managed sustainably and protected for future generations.
Some of the measures currently underway to reducing discarding across the Scottish
fleet are detailed below.
Using more selective fishing nets and other gear to avoid catching the unwanted fish in
the first place. Trials for further selective gear types are underway;
Observing real-time temporary closures, or seasonal closures, of rich fishing grounds
during critical times;
CCTV scheme and observer programme to deter discarding;
High grading (the discarding of fish which can be landed legally) is banned in the North
sea and pelagic fisheries;
Slipping (releasing the fish before the net is fully taken on board) is also banned in
Jigging machines in the pelagic fisheries sample the catch prior to nets being lowered so
that skippers can avoid catching unwanted fish.”
For some species the scientific advice already includes an assessment of the amount of fish
that will be discarded. The Scottish Government has argued that it is possible to “catch less and
land more” by allowing fishermen to land the fish they would have otherwise discarded by
moving to a system of catch quotas. Fishermen who have agreed to take part in trials of this
approach receive additional quota if they carry CCTV in the fish room of their vessel which
allows monitoring to ensure no fish are discarded. These trials have continued in 2010.
Fishing News of 24 September 2010 reported on a meeting in Peterhead concerning catch
“ „Backing for catch quotas is an economic imperative under the current circumstances,
where skippers are running out of quota with only two-thirds of the year gone and the
prospect of even more cuts next year,‟ said Mike Park, executive chairman of the
Scottish White Fish Producers Association (SWFPA). (…)
A pilot project involving only cod catches has been underway on both sides of the border
this year and an interim report on the results of the Scottish trials with 19 boats was
circulated at the meeting. Boats taking part in the scheme were able to gain extra cod
quota from an additional 5% awarded at last December‟s Fisheries Council and extra
days at sea, but have to observe strict rules. Now the plan is to extend the scheme to
Fisheries Ministers and officials support the scheme, and a DEFRA official at the recent
NFFO AGM said catch quotas would be a “live issue” in the autumn negotiations and in
the longer term.
Mike Park said (…) „It‟s time now to break out from the trials stage and to experiment
more fully with the concept of catch quotas, apply it to other species and move into a fully
fledged system in 2011‟. ”