Big fishing firms lose battle over quotas
High Court rules in favour of reallocating some fishing rights from big producers to small-scale fishermen
Wednesday 10 July 2013
A fishing industry organisation has lost its battle with the Government over a plan to reallocate fishing quotas.
The UK Association of Fish Producer Organisations had challenged a decision by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to redistribute "fixed quota allocations" FQAs from its members who own vessels greater than 10 metres to boats that 10 metres or under.
Tom de la Mare QC, representing the fishing organisation at the High Court in London, argued that the re-allocation decision was unlawful and discriminatory under both EU and domestic law, and amounted to an abuse of power.
But Mr Justice Cranston rejected the challenge and ruled that there was no discrimination.
Although UKAFPO describes itself as a co-operative for fishing vessel owners, critics, who include Greenpeace say it represents "the fat cats of the fishing industry who control over 90 per cent of the quota".
Greenpeace said: "In a landmark ruling on an unprecedented legal battle for the control of the UK fishing quota, the court backed the Government's decision to redistribute some of the unused fishing allowances held by the industry heavyweights to small inshore fishing boats."
UKAFPO's chairman, Jim Portas warned that the effect ruling could be a reintroduction of the race to fish that FQA had been designed to eliminate. But Jerry Percy, chief executive of the New Under Ten Fishermen's Association, welcomed the judge's decision to reject UKAFPO's arguments.
He said: "This ruling entirely vindicates the minister's decision to reallocate a small percentage of constantly unused fishing quota from the larger-scale operators to those smaller vessels in desperate need of it.
"It now gives the minister the opportunity to review the entire basis of allocating fishing rights and, through that, provide a lifeline to the smaller-scale fishermen who are the lifeblood of many coastal communities."
Nutfa and Greenpeace had intervened in the case to argue that fish stocks are not "a private commodity but a public resource, held by the Crown for the benefit of the public".
They said the reallocation affected only a small amount of consistently unused quota.
- 1 JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Video shows what happens when lava is poured onto ice
- 5 Cate Blanchett loses temper during interview: 'That's your f**king question?'
Andreas Lubitz: Who is Germanwings co-pilot who 'locked out captain and crashed flight 9525'?
Germanwings crash: The poignant final photograph taken by Iranian journalist on doomed flight after watching Barcelona play Real Madrid
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Cate Blanchett loses temper during interview: 'That's your f**king question?'
Jeremy Clarkson calls on trolls to leave producer Oisin Tymon alone: 'None of this is his fault'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Vote Ukip, says far-right group Britain First
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Managers are required to join the UK's...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...