The boom and bust in TAC setting needs to be end says SWFPA Chief, Mike Park
Scottish White Fish Producers Association chief, Mike Park (OBE) has called for the end to the “Boom and Bust” of annual total allowable catches (TACs) in fishing ends.
Mike says that fisheries scientists from national research institutes and the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) need to work more closely in order to achieve a real time perspective on fish stocks and he is happy with the progress that is being made.
Speaking on The Fishing Daily Podcast this week Mike said:
“We need to make sure that this boom and bust in terms of TAC setting is removed because the problem is that we see the fish on the ground at least a year before the science picks it up.
“The TAC that say is allocated at the time, doesn’t necessarily reflect their abundance, which means that you’re giving up an opportunity, and that shouldn’t really happen.
“One of the positives last year was that through the Northern Fishing Alliance, which is a new post Brexit group set up to allow people like me, industry leaders and fishermen to sit around in a non-political basis to discuss issues of common concern such as the the North Sea cod. We have an angler(fish) group, we have a saithe group and we’re just setting up a spatial awareness group just now.
“A lot of the work we did over the past two to three years was to try and assist the ICES and the managers in understanding actually what is out there through empirical evidence that we were we were inputting, and indeed the seminar/workshop that we held with ICES towards the end of the year was extremely useful and trying to work out what we should be doing.
“Sitting down with them ahead of the advice drafting groups so that they can maybe have a clearer understanding that if we haven’t taken all the TAC, for example of haddock, it’s not because they’re not there. There are other commercial aspects around about it that means we can’t take it out to the sea.
“We’re to have another seminar after cod the benchmark, which is on 24th of February I believe in Copenhagen, to see what more industry can do to help them in the advice that they prepare, and indeed, the the information they can gather, because we’ve always said that every vessel is a research platform, we just need to find out the route and the ways that we can harvest that information and advice and get it into the science system.”