Channel scallop deal secured through negotiation with industry
Over 700,000 extra kilowatt days at sea have been secured for UK fishermen under the Western Waters Regime for the whole of 2015.
The extra fishing days were confirmed after industry-led negotiations between UK and French representatives, which have been taking place since the start of the year.
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and Devolved Authorities have issued fishing vessel licence variations permitting UK scallop fishing vessels to benefit from extra effort in the English Channel in exchange for them observing area closures.
UK scallop fishermen in the over 15 metre scallop fleet agreed not to fish in area VIId (eastern English Channel) from 1 August 2015 to 30 September 2015, in the Baie de Seine between 1 August 2015 and 1 November 2015 and to a closure of an area further west off the French coast within Area VIIe between 1 June 2015 and 31 October 2015.
France agreed to give the UK 720,000 Western Waters kilowatt (KW) days, 50,000 for use before 1 October 2015 north of the median line between the UK and France and a further 670,000 for use after 1 October 2015.
Commenting on the deal Fisheries Minister George Eustice said: “I congratulate the industry on securing this deal to give our scallop fishermen more days at sea. The agreement follows similar negotiations with France last year and is a positive move for both sides.”