EU rule changes could give fishermen carte blanche to plunder seas

Brexit has benefited UK farming and fishing claims Prentis

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Fisheries minister Victoria Prentis said proposed changes to EU fisheries rules could result in overfishing of critical stocks like mackerel and tuna. She said the suggestion that increased approved margins of error on reporting catches could “elevate the risk and magnitude of underreporting and overfishing with no risk of sanction”. The issue was raised by influential MPs on the Commons European Scrutiny Committee.

Under EU rules, the margins of tolerance for mackerel and tuna currently stand at 10 percent.

But Brussels’s latest plan could increase these to 20 percent and 25 percent respectively.

Ms Prentis said: “This elevates the risk and magnitude of underreporting and overfishing with no risk of sanction for the operator, even although fisheries technology onboard and equipment allowing more accurate estimation of quantities and catch composition have improved.

“A margin of tolerance of 20 percent could lead to 40 percent of potential underreporting of catches of small pelagic species, and a margin of tolerance of 25 percent could lead to up to 50 percent of underreporting of catches of tuna species.”

The tweaks to EU rules will have a significant impact on UK fishermen operating in EU waters.

And a newly-proposed digital database of catch certificates for the important and export of fish will also have is also expected to hamper trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland under the post-Brexit border fix.

Ms Prentis confirmed the changes would likely apply to the Northern Ireland under Article 13 of the Brexit deal’s protocol to avoid a hard border.

She said the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are currently looking in to the potential amendments to EU fisheries rules.

The Government is also set to undertake its over review of fisheries controls, which a report by the EU Scrutiny committee says is vital because the UK retained the many of bloc’s rules after Brexit.

The report states: “The outcome of this negotiation will have an impact on UK vessels fishing in EU waters as well as on the sustainability of stocks.

MUST READ: Frost rejects EU Brexit compromise offer – ‘Not addressed the issue’

“It is therefore welcome that the Minister has provided additional information on the issues at stake in the negotiation.”

The committee also raised concerns over the EU’s plans to weaken its food standards by lifting a ban on the use on feeding animal remains to domestic livestock.

It was noted the change would apply directly in Northern Ireland as a result of the protocol.

EU’s ‘cod war’ with Norway ramps up as Brussels threatens Oslo [REVEALED]
Brexit live: Boris throws away new EU proposals – orders WA reopened [UPDATES]
Switzerland provides warning to UK for Brexit ‘war of attrition’ [ANALYSIS]

Greenpeace protest against controversial flyshooter fishing vessel

That would mean another difference in the rules between the region and Great Britain, with the Government not willing to follow the EU’s relaxation of its standards.

Rural Affairs minister Lord Benyon said: “Following our exit from the EU, Defra has reviewed parts of the animal health legislation.

“Many aspects remain to be assessed: the future of our feed controls and how they work alongside animal health controls is one such area and requires careful consideration, assessment of the scientific evidence, and consultation.”

Source: Read Full Article