The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations is hoping that the next round of annual negotiations for 2022 will not be as ‘tortuous’ as the 2021 negotiations.
2021 has been a difficult year for the fishing industry with the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement only coming together on Christmas Eve and then the actual impacts of Brexit, which caused border delays, a long delay in implementing a process for international quota swaps, enormous uncertainty about the future management of non-quota stocks, the first faltering steps of the Specialised Committee on Fisheries, and a slow realisation of the implications of what was agreed in the TCA. Also dealing with COVID-19 has been a strain on the industry, and this hindered the above issues.
Although there were these difficulties the NFFO still believes that there have been good points to Brexit, for example, the UK has for the first time used its regulatory autonomy to increase the principal mesh size for all demersal vessels fishing in the Celtic Sea from 80mm to 100mm, as it begins the shift away from the Common Fisheries Policy.
“There is hope on both sides that it will be possible to avoid repeating the prolonged and tortuous process that marked the 2021 negotiations. That initial set of negotiations, with the UK acting as an independent coastal state for the first time, and the ink barely dry on the TCA, were painfully slow and difficult. Covid restrictions also severely hampered the decision-making process. The aim for this year is to secure agreement by 10 December,” writes the NFFO.
In an article published today on the NFFO website, they examine a number of issues including the Norway and Faroes, ICES Advice, the failings of the Landing Obligation and the challenges of the Discard Policy.
You can read the full article by clicking here.