He let's himself down though when he states that for every rsa on the sfc committee, there aught to be 6 commercial.
The Sea Fisheries Committees (soon to be replaced by “Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities” when/if the Marine Bill goes through) are meant to be the body which looks after inshore fisheries and at least they do have some semblance of representation by stakeholders other than commercial fishermen.
Now you would have thought that control over how much fish could be removed from the fishery would play an important part in the management of the inshore fishery wouldn't you.
After all, the more fish taken out by commercial fishing, the less available to the recreational fishery with a direct consequential impact on the quality of the recreational fishery.
It might be that anglers representatives might get voted down on every occasion, but at least they would have a say, and perhaps could embarass the process as fundamentally unfair.
But it seems that the idea of any such semblance of democracy and fairness to all stakeholders has been abandoned, and instead a cosy arrangement btween the MFA and local commercial fishermen will in future determine how much fish can be removed from the fishery. http://www.defra.gov.../fishfocus9.pdf
Managing quotas for the inshore fleet
The MFA will be looking at new ways to involve the inshore industry in managing quotas better in 2008.
The idea is to focus on regional needs for the under 10 metre fleet so that maximum quota for specific species can be delivered when it is most needed locally.
To do that the MFA is setting up regional ‘quota management advisory groups’, with five or six representatives from local fleets.
The groups will meet about every three months with MFA Port Office and quota management staff to discuss quota issues, and work out the best way forward for their local industry.
Fisheries Minister, Jonathan Shaw, discussed how other sectors of the industry could help with quota management at a meeting with representatives of the UK Association of Fish Producer Organisations (UKAFPO) in December 2007.
It was agreed that Defra and MFA will meet representatives from producer organisations and the inshore industry and the results of the ‘quota management advisory groups’ will be fed into these quarterly meetings.
The idea of having regional advisory groups was suggested at one of the regular meetings of South East inshore fishermen – and the first advisory group meeting for the South East will be held soon.
MFA District Inspector, Angus Radford, said: ‘The industry has played a key part in its constructive discussions with Defra and the MFA in resolving recent issues, such as skates and rays bycatch. We are looking to build on this.
The MFA wants to work in closer co-operation with the inshore industry and I hope that regional quota management advisory groups will be a step forward in focusing on local quota problems and seeking solutions to them.
So, as well as SFCs, we will now have local quota management groups, determining the quality of our inshore fisheries.
Only these will not have any representation other than from the Fishing Industry.
Should the SFC's now abandon any pretence that they are able to manage the inshore fisheries and shut up shop now, or simply wait until their power to manage the fisheries are whittled away totally?