14th January 2013. Last updated at 7:44 pm

Eric Congratulates Minister for UK Fisheries Success


Eric Ollerenshaw, MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, has welcomed a positive result for British fishermen at the recent EU Fisheries meeting, achieved by Richard Benyon MP, the Fisheries Minister.

As part of the negotiations the Fisheries Minister ensured that UK fisherman would no longer be threatened with the prospect of having the number of days they could fish cut. He also successfully managed to gain increases in some of the quotas for particular types of fish, all based on scientific advice and to no threat to future fish stocks. Importantly for local fishermen who fish the Irish Sea, a potentially significant TAC cut of 12% proposed for the economically important Nephrops stock was reversed to achieve a 6% increase. Moreover, a proposed cut of 20% for Irish Sea whiting was successfully reduced to 6%.

Speaking in the Commons after the Minister made his statement, Eric thanked the Minister for his efforts to assist local fishermen. However he also used the opportunity to press the Minister to ensure that any new offshore windfarms in the Irish Sea did not damage local crews.

Commenting further Eric said:

“This is great news for our local fisherman and for us here in Fleetwood, especially the 6% increase in the quota for Nephrops in the Irish Sea .  For an industry that has been forced into decline it is a fantastic achievement that through sound scientific evidence the Minister could successfully argue against reductions to the number of days which they could fish and cuts to our quotas.

“Obviously there is still a long way to go, but I agree with the Minister that these negotiations have shown that the UK is committed not only to the long-term sustainability of fish stocks, but equally importantly, the economic viability of our fleet!”