Bass answers needed urgently

Published by FiskerForum, 11-02-2017 · info@fiskerforum.dk

The NFFO has raised the issue of bass with Fisheries Minister George Eustice. At a meeting this week, the NFFO highlighted the unnecessary rigidity of the rules for gillnetters, as well as spelling out the consequences – the discarding of valuable bycatch.

The issues raised by the NFFO representatives were the absence of a process of appeal for vessels unfairly excluded from the fishery and the inability to transfer eligibility when a vessel changes hands.

It was stressed that some flexibility in the MMO guidance could reduce the difficulties faced by many inshore vessels and would be still be consistent with the European legislation and further more would not add a single bass being killed.

The Minister and DEFRA officials agreed to look at the request as a matter of urgency and talks between DEFRA and the MMO have already begun.

According to the NFFO, the case was also made for deeper thinking about the measures that have been brought in over that last two years, many of which it describes as bearing the hallmarks of rushed, poorly through through, sticking plasters.

‘Finding ways to reduce fishing mortality on bass without generating discards is going to become an ever more crucial issue as the full implementation of the discard ban in 2019. The Minister and officials agreed to begin a strand of work in preparation for the next December, and in the slightly longer term, the landings obligation,’ the NFFO stated.

Source: NFFO

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