Deal reached over sustainable fishing off coast

Sharon Bowles MEP with fishermen Mike Harvey (left) and Chris Harvey (right) in Selsey, courtesy of John Periam, Fishing News ENGSNL00120110606123720
Sharon Bowles MEP with fishermen Mike Harvey (left) and Chris Harvey (right) in Selsey, courtesy of John Periam, Fishing News ENGSNL00120110606123720

South East MEP Catherine Bearder has welcomed a deal reached in Brussels last night that will lead to more sustainable fishing in Eastbourne.

Fishermen can now rely on quotas based on concrete scientific advice that will ensure the long-term survival of the fishing industry.

Mrs Bearder said, “We need to strike a balance between supporting businesses and conserving fish stocks. Thanks to major reforms pushed for by Liberal Democrats, we are moving towards more sustainable levels of fishing and introducing a ban on wasteful discards. I’m now pushing the UK government to distribute a fair share of quotas to small-scale fishermen in the area, to safeguard their livelihoods and the local communities they support.”

Many fishing quotas are being reduced in line with scientific evidence in order to rebuild fish stocks. However, the quota for sole in the Eastern Channel will be cut by 28% in 2015, less than the 60% cut that had been expected. Quota for cod catches will increase by 5% and hake by 11%. A ban on discarding dead fish is set to come in in January 2015, to help fishermen adjust to the ban they will be given the flexibility to use their quotas across different regions.