Rural and Environment
In the news: landing obligations
EU regulations are currently designed to stop fishermen throwing unwanted fish back into the sea dead, instead obliging skippers to land them instead.
In response a Scottish Government spokesperson said:
“We support the landing obligation where good, valuable fish are not thrown back dead and we will enforce any breaches we encounter.
“We welcome this report and will study the findings in more detail.
“This is an EU wide problem, in very complex mixed fisheries, and we therefore need an EU-wide response to make sure the right measures are put in place and are delivered on an equivalent basis. It is disappointing an EU wide response is not in place yet.
“Scottish Government scientists and policy officials have been involved in lengthy discussions between European member states and, through discussion and collaboration with the fishing industry and environmental groups, have agreed a set of measures which will help the industry comply with the landing obligation and also to offer additional protections to our most vulnerable stocks.
“It’s vital that we put in place an appropriate response to landing obligations in order to protect stock and to secure the long term sustainability of our fleet. Scotland is willing to do this alongside other fishing nations.”
The Scottish fleet has worked at increasing selectivity to try and reduce and avoid the capture of undersize fish, as well as avoidance measures and seasonal closed areas where juvenile or spawning fish may be present. In addition, for 2018, scientific advice identified a very low recruitment of juvenile Cod which in turn means very few undersize cod should be present in the catch (and therefore landed), this was a key element in the Scottish Government agreeing to the reduction of the overall cod quota for 2019 by 33% in support of sustainable and responsible fisheries management.