Written by Jen Finn
The National Federation of Fisherman's Organisations (NFFO), the body representing fishermen's groups, individual fishermen and producers' organisations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has overwhelmingly rejected forthcoming claims by Greenpeace, criticising how the industry is represented.
The NFFO has learned the environmental campaigning group is planning to issue what it calls "inaccurate and misrepresentative information", running a real risk of harming an industry that is now sustainably aware and scientifically based, and in a way that would cost jobs, damage the wider economy and threaten future consumer supply.
The claims set to be made by Greenpeace, allege that NFFO membership includes 57 per cent of foreign investment and that in a letter to the EU Commission, the NFFO has urged the body to exclude smaller, inshore fisherman's groups from Europe's Regional Advisory Councils (RACs). Both claims have been branded by the UK industry federation as "totally inaccurate", "misrepresentative" and "propaganda-driven".
In fact, current membership information for the NFFO shows only 8% of member vessels are owned outside the UK, ensuring strong representation from the home fishing industry, with the organisation having a broad representation of vessel sizes both within the body and on its central lobbying committee. At present, 66% of member fishing vessels are below 15 metres, and 40% are below 10 metres – the standard categorisation for small, local, inshore craft.
NFFO officials acknowledge the difficulty ensuring a strong voice for small scale fishermen. But in its widely circulated letter to the Commission – available to download from its website (www.nffo.org.uk) – it puts forward a range of positive suggestions to remedy the position within a reformed Common Fisheries Policy, including outreach work to areas of the small-scale fleet currently under-represented.
The body does, however, warn against the dangers of self-appointed, unrepresentative industry groups, which it says run the risk of division and misrepresentation of the sector.
NFFO Chairman, Paul Trebilcock, also Chief Executive of the Cornish Fish Producers' Organisation, said: "Greenpeace has, in the past, been applauded by the industry for campaigns against illegal fishing and human rights abuse of crew, but this report appears quite desperate in its efforts to create and exploit divisions in our industry. Fortunately there seem to be few fishermen who buy into their propaganda. The truth is that the NFFO and many others in the industry share a goal of sustainability and are working hard to achieve it.
Read the full story at FishNewsEU>>
The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:
The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.Read more...
Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.
Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.Read more...