Fishing chiefs hail reprieve after talks with EU
Yorkshire Post Today – Leeds,Yorkshire,UK
Fishing chiefs hail reprieve after talks with EUAlexandra Wood
YORKSHIRE fishing chiefs welcomed an early Christmas present yesterday after winning a reprieve in the struggle to keep the industry alive.
The deal, after gruelling all-night European Union talks in Brussels, will allow vital cod fishing grounds in the North Sea, Irish Sea and the west of Scotland, to stay open – despite grim warnings from conservationists.
Hard-pressed fishermen said the real bonus for the Yorkshire fleet was the scrapping of a scheme that had slashed catches of haddock.
They said conservation efforts which had seen the fleet and fishing effort reduced by 65 per cent in the past two years was paying off with increases in stock.
The president of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO), Arnold Locker – owner of Locker’s Trawlers in Whitby – praised the efforts of Fisheries Minister Ben Bradshaw, and said: “It has been a big effort by everyone concerned, from the fishermen in the smallest boats to the largest, coupled with the Scottish fishing industry. It has been a 110 per cent effort by the UK fishing industry.”
Under the deal fishermen even escape a cut in the current 15 days a month they are allowed to put to sea for cod – as long as they use nets with an agreed minimum mesh size, letting small fish through to boost stock revival hopes.