Fishermen braced for quota cuts

THE GOVERNMENT will today agree to massive cuts in British fishing quotas proposed by Brussels under Europe-wide plans designed to conserve rapidly-dwindling stocks.

The move, likely to provoke consternation among British fishermen, will come at a crunch meeting of European fisheries ministers called to set total annual catches.

Britain will call for changes to just five of the 50 categories which affect the UK, dashing the hopes of most of the country's 10,000 fishermen who argue that their livelihoods are at stake.

A British official argued: "We are taking a cautious approach based on scientific advice. We need to conserve stocks today otherwise we run the risk of there being no fish stocks in the future."

At today's meeting, Eliot Morley, the Fisheries Minister, will agree to a 23 per cent reduction in the 80,370 tonnes of herring fished this year off the west coast of Scotland, to 62,000 tonnes in 1999. British fishermen are entitled to 60 per cent of that catch.

Other traditional British fishing waters which will be hit include haddock catches in the North Sea, where the UK agrees with a cut to the total catch from 115,000 tonnes in 1998 to 88,500 next year - a cut of nearly a quarter. The UK's quota is 78 per cent of this figure. The whiting catch will also be slashed from 60,000 tonnes to 44,000 tonnes next year, a drop of 27 per cent. British fishermen are entitled to just over half.

And cod fishermen in the Irish Sea will also be hit. British fishermen are allowed to land 43 per cent of the total permitted catch which was 7,100 tonnes this year. In 1999, the figure is set to be reduced to 5,500 tonnes, a cut of 23 per cent.

Of the five areas where Britain is seeking an increase, the biggest is haddock fishing off the west coast of Scotland, where a reduction from 25,700 to 18,100 is planned. The UK, which is entitled to 81 per cent of that catch, believes that the scientific evidence does not fully support the cut.

The other catches where Mr Morley will be arguing for a increases are: cod and haddock off the west coast of scotland; herring in the Irish Sea; plaice in the English Channel; and sole in the Bristol Channel and Celtic Sea.

In one area the UK will argue for a lower total catch than Brussels proposes. For sprat in the North Sea the European Commission wants to see increases from 150,000 this year to 175,000 next. Mr Morley wants to stick at this year's figure.

The figures for total allowable catches are drawn up on the basis of data from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea. The commission says that "concern remains for a number of stocks" although in a few exceptions, such as plaice and sole in the North Sea, the permitted catches will increase.

Detailed negotiations are likely to go into the early hours of tomorrow as ministers have to agree the whole package.

Discussions have been complicated by a dispute among Mediterranean countries over bluefin tuna stocks. France and Spain are holding out against moves to redistribute some of their quota to Italy and Greece, both of which have sufferedpenalties for over-fishing. Although the size of the total catch is small, the fish is one of the most valuable in the world due to its popularity in Japan.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

KS1 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Supply Teacher re...

KS2 Teaching Supply Wakefield

£140 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...

Year 1/2 Teacher

£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...

Primary Teachers Needed for Supply in Wakefield

£140 - £160 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1&2 Supply Te...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam