Fishing leaders hail ‘bankable’ quotas to beat discard ban

George Eustice MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Farming, Food and Marine Environment gives evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Rural Affairs, Climate Change and the Environment Committee on Marine and fisheries issues. 11 June 2014.  Pic - Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament''The publisher of this material is:'The Scottish Parliament'Edinburgh'EH99 1SP''During the referendum period the Scottish Parliament is obliged to provide this information in order to ensure transparency and comply with the campaign rules.
George Eustice MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Farming, Food and Marine Environment gives evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Rural Affairs, Climate Change and the Environment Committee on Marine and fisheries issues. 11 June 2014. Pic - Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament''The publisher of this material is:'The Scottish Parliament'Edinburgh'EH99 1SP''During the referendum period the Scottish Parliament is obliged to provide this information in order to ensure transparency and comply with the campaign rules.

Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice has unveiled the chance to ‘bank’ or ‘borrow’ fishing quotas in a move that will ease pressure on boats affected by a European discard ban.

The move was welcomed by Scottish fishing leaders.

From the beginning of this year, boats had to land unwanted fish which were caught in their nets. This was intended to combat incidents of throwing dead fish back into the sea which had increased due to EU quotas on what could be landed.

Mr Eustice said: “If we want a profitable fishing industry and thriving coastal communities in the future it is vital that we fish sustainably today. That is why the reforms we have secured to the Common Fisheries Policy, which will put an end to the shameful practice of throwing perfectly good fish overboard, are so important.

“It is essential that we ban the practice of discarding fish, but we are also committed to introducing new flexibilities to help fishermen manage their quotas.”

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF), said the measures were welcome.

The ban came into force in January for herring and mackerel, and takes effect next January for cod and haddock.