Mixed reaction to proposed quotas

North Shields Fish Quay scene.
North Shields Fish Quay scene.

NEW fishing quotas could be a welcome boost for fishermen, although the continuing discard of some fish las left concerns.

The European Commission has proposed fishing opportunities for 2013 for certain fish stocks in the Atlantic and North Sea.

It proposes to increase or maintain the total allowable catches (TACs) for 16 stocks – including certain stocks of cod, Norway lobster and sole – and reduce them for 47 stocks.

North East Conservative MEP Martin Callanan has welcomed the announcement, saying it can only benefit fish quays like North Shields, but has raised concerns over the continuing discard of dead fish.

“The Commission recommendation that TACs can be increased next year for 16 stocks, including West of Scotland Norway Lobster, Celtic Sea cod and sole and Eastern Channel plaice, is good news on a very limited scale,” he said.

“Cuts in TACs for 47 other commercial species is a continuing sign that all is far from well in EU waters and that our once-in-a-generation chance to reform the Common Fisheries Policy must not be missed.

“Of course we support the main thrust of the Commission’s objective to achieve maximum sustainable yield in every target species, because in doing so we will create a sustainable and profitable fishery now and for future generations.

“However, where the Commission identifies high rates of discards of cod and whiting, I have to point to the fact that it is micro-management rules from Brussels that has forced our fishermen on Tyneside and Northumberland to discard these valuable fish.”