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On 5 December 2018, the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee considered the Commission’s Proposal for a Regulation on the Fishing Opportunities for 2019.
A similar Proposal is released every year; it suggests total allowable catches (TACs) for the following year based on advice provided by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), which are then discussed and agreed at a meeting of the Fisheries Council in mid-December.This year, a lot of the proposed measures are designed to facilitate the full implementation of the landing obligation from 1 January 2019 while avoiding choke difficulties. The Committee informs the Minister that it may examine some of the proposed measures in detail as part of its inquiry on the implementation and enforcement of the landing obligation. Members agreed to release the Proposal from scrutiny to allow the Minister to negotiate and vote at the Fisheries Council, and requested an update on the agreement reached after the meeting.
Update: on 13 March, the Committee reviewed the reply they had received from the Minister. They noted the areas in which the Government had been both successful and unsuccessful in negotiating its desired TACs, and raised serious concerns about the reducing number of stocks whose quotas have been set at sustainable levels, and the impact of the quota uplift. They also sought clarity on whether the agreed TACs would apply in the UK in a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario.
Update: on 12 June, the Committee reviewed the reply they had received from the Minister, and his responses when speaking to the Committee on 5 June. (A transcript of that evidence session is available below.) They thanked the Minister for the clarity he and his official had been able to provide, but expressed disappointment that his stated commitment to sustainable fishing had not, in this instance, translated into tangible action. They agreed to close correspondence on this matter.
EU Committee writes to Defra Minister about unsustainable fishing
Evidence given by Rt Hon Robert Goodwill MP, Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Nigel Gooding, Deputy Director for Policy and Negotiations, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Twitter - keep up to date with the European Union Committee
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