Members of the SWFPO and other fishermen in the South West UK, can breath a conditional sigh of relief and enjoy their Christmas break after fisheries minister Richard Benyon secured quite a good deal for them in Brussels.
Chairman of the SWFPO Bill Brock said “I extend thanks from all our members to Richard Benyon and all of his team of negotiators for pulling off significant improvements to a number of crucial quotas compared to the proposals for 2013.
We were expecting deeper cuts but we can now look forward to landing a significant amount more of Plaice and Sole through the coming year, overall this Fisheries Council delivered improvements to next years landings by our members amounting to £750,000 approx at today’s prices.”
Chief Executive Jim Portus said “although our members will struggle to deal with the 5% cut in monk fish quotas it could have been worse and we are already planning transfer deals involving Belgium and Holland.
It is a shame that fishermen will have to discard much of their Haddock catches following the cut of 15%. This is a species of fish that cannot be avoided due to super abundance on the fishing grounds. Members of the SWFPO will continue to work with the Fisheries Department to bring about improvements to the Dover Sole Management Plan to allow fishermen to land all that they catch. Already the South West and Channel Beam Trawler fleet have been recognised for the good work that skippers and fishing gear designers have done to reduce discards and improve fish quality.
The improved opportunities announced today cement the relationship between this innovative work our vessels have been carrying out the ability of our Minister to secure real improvements of fishing opportunities.
South Western Fish Producer Organisation Ltd.