Fish deal 'good for the industry and the seas'
Britain won a good deal on fisheries, both for the seas and industry from recent European quota talks, the Government has said.
Fishing days for UK trawlers will be the same this year as last, after automatic reductions were dropped, Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon said.
Progress is still to be made to ensure decisions are better regionalised and processes less arcane, Mr Benyon said.
MPs from all sides of the Commons praised the through-the-night negotiating effort following Mr Benyon's statement.
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The minister said: "The package we secured helps all sectors of the industry, large and small, and delivers benefits from all parts of the UK. It was a good result for the UK fleet and for sustainable exploitation of the fish on which our fisherman depend.
"It also supports our wider objectives on reform of the common fisheries policy. It was a timely coincidence the European Parliament were waiting on CFP reform at the same time the annual quota negotiations were taking place."
Quotas were increased for several kinds of fish because stocks in British waters are growing healthily, he told MPs. The settlement was welcomed by Labour spokesman Tom Harris who offered continued "conditional support" for the Government's position.
"We're at a critical point for fisheries management and common fisheries reform is at the top of the agenda. We welcome the news automatic cuts to North Sea cod quota and a reduction in the number of fishing days at sea have been avoided. Any change of policy that would have increased discards would have been unacceptable," he told the minister. "I wish you every success in future negotiations."