European Union agrees to catch more fish sustainably in 2018

Remigio Civitarese
Dicembre 13, 2017

After marathon talks that ended early Wednesday, EU fisheries ministers said they added nine fish stocks - species of fish in defined geographical areas - to those that are managed sustainably, bringing the total to 53.

They are likely to be some of the last negotiations before Britain leaves the European Union and quits the Common Fisheries Policy.

'If this was a prelude for the final round of fisheries negotiations next year before the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, it does not bode well, ' he said.

According to Defra, the deal will give United Kingdom boats opportunities worth more than £750m in total.

The UK government has welcomed the deal while the Scottish Fishermen's Federation told the BBC it was waiting to study the detail.

He told the BBC: "If this was a prelude for the final round of fisheries negotiations next year before the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, it does not bode well".

'We are sick and exhausted of the political horse trading over fishing opportunities that goes on every year, ' he said.

Mike Park, chief executive of Scotland's biggest fishing body, the Scottish White Fish Producers Association (SWFPA), described the outcome of the negotiations as broadly fair, with some notable disappointments on the west of Scotland.

European Union nations have agreed to set quota levels that ensure more sustainable fishing in the Northeastern Atlantic and the North Sea, but environmentalists insist the bloc is behind in its schedule to end overfishing by 2020.

'This has nothing to do with proper fisheries management.

"The other countries are going to have to come to the table with their sensible hats on, rather than insisting that the United Kingdom will not get a kilo of the fish that it is legally entitled to take control of outside the CFP".

Asked if the Scottish fleet would be better off without Common Fisheries Policy restrictions, he said: "We have to listen to the science and fish what is sustainable. Overfishing would, of course, be a disaster for everybody".

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