Tag Archives: European Union

UK fishermen see Brexit bonanza, but there’s a catch

Newlyn – For the fishermen of this small port on the toe of England, Britain’s vote to leave the European Union was an answer to their prayers. After 45 years chafing under what they saw as unfair quotas in one of the world’s richest fishing grounds, the UK government would finally, in the lexicon of Brexiteers, “take back control” of British waters. But what Brexit gives with one hand, it can also take away. European fishermen want Brussels to use its trump card – continued access to the essential EU market – in negotiations on how to divvy up the seas. click here to read the story 12:15

CETA: Canada-European Union pact worries US lobster industry

Members of the U.S. seafood industry are fearful that Canada’s approval of a new trade deal with the European Union will cause big problems for the American lobster business, just as the catch is hitting historic highs. The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Act, or CETA, cleared its final hurdle in the Parliament of Canada on Tuesday. The deal gets rid of tariffs on Canadian lobster exports to the 28-nation bloc, putting Canada at a huge advantage over the U.S. click here to read the story  11:06

Brexit Hopes Fade for Some Who Want It So Badly

The faded Welsh industrial port of Milford Haven and the picturesque English harbor town of Brixham are economic worlds apart, but they’re both desperate to leave the European Union. Locals say Brexit can boost their fishing industry, hit by competition from foreign fleets and quotas on catches during 44 years of EU membership. The worry is that the country will repeat the mistakes on the way out they say were made on the way in by ceding to too many European demands. What they don’t want is to end up with access to more fish, though fewer markets. “There’s a lot of bargaining and we need to come down hard and do something about it,” said Mark Albery, 43, who catches lobster, crab and whelk in the waters off Milford Haven on Wales’s southwestern tip. A fisherman since he was a teenager, he’s not optimistic over a favorable deal. “Not with this country, no, not at all. We just do what we’re told in the end.” click here to read the story 15:32

The EU is making poor countries poorer

The EU likes to present itself as a global force for good, fostering aid and development in the world’s poorest societies. It boasts of its £12 billion aid programme, and calls itself “the most generous donor in the world”. It truly believes itself to be a kindlier world power than the United States, Russia, or China. As ever with the EU, the truth is much uglier. Eurosceptics have long known of the EU’s practice of dumping subsidised agricultural products on developing countries, especially Africa. In a rare case of progress, the EU now spends considerably less on these, and WTO members – including the EU – finally agreed to end export subsidies in 2015.,,, The EU also harms local fishing industries. Having instituted rigorous fishing quotas in Europe, the EU makes deals with various West African countries to allow its large trawlers to fish on a massive scale in those countries’ waters. click here to read the story 13:36

EU-Norway snow crab row could fuel oil tensions in Arctic

On the face of it, a relentless battle between the European Union and Norway in a remote part of the Arctic is about snow crabs. But the real fight may go beyond who gets to catch the modest crustaceans around Svalbard, a unique Norwegian archipelago in the Barents Sea. What is really at stake is oil, some experts say, and a coming race for the commodity of which there is a lot in the polar region. “No country wants to give up resources without receiving anything in return. That is the principle here too,” Norwegian Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg tells AFP. Norway, which is not a member of the EU, has slammed Brussels for authorizing European vessels from mainly Baltic nations to fish for crabs in the Svalbard area, saying it violates its national sovereignty. A Latvian ship has already paid the price. In January, a ship called “The Senator” was intercepted by Norwegian coast guards while crab fishing around Svalbard, and recently received a hefty fine. “What happened is totally new,” says Sandberg. “The EU is unabashed to make this kind of a decision without consulting us.”click here to read the story 13:48

Ireland in danger of losing 30 more fishing vessels with the loss of an estimated 360 jobs say South West fishermen

There have been a lot of the same repeated statements about the rights of 23 RSW Pelagic vessels who have 40% of the €275,317,000 total earnings of Irelands fishing fleet, an estimated 100 million Euro in 2016 increasing to 110 million in 2017. Reports across various media have communicated a message that a Mackerel war has started between North and South. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is amazing to me personally how people’s perception can override the facts but the human brain is an extraordinary muscle. To give a little background on recent events, the Irish South & West Fish Producers Organisation and our colleagues in the fishing Industry were informed by Senior officials in the Department of Marine in early 2016 that our tiny fishing fleet is still too big for our nations meagre fish allocations from the European Union in predominantly our waters that produce some 30% of all fish landed in Europe. We were told that cuts were required to be made to the Whitefish fleet of 30 boats measuring between 12 – 23 Meters. Click here to read the story 09:28

Brexit Allows Us To Solve This Haddock Conservation Problem By Leaving The CFP

It would be terribly wrong to compare the European Union to any of the mid-20th century unpleasantnesses in Europe like fascism and the rise of the Nazis but it is true that that peaceful economic arrangement has managed something that total war did not, the rationing of fish and chips in Britain. For it is actually true that said fish and chips never was rationed. Even when the Kreigsmarine was trying to sink everything larger than a canoe which issued from Britain’s ports we still had that haddock, cod and plaice. Give it 45 years of that ever closer European union and the bureaucratic management of the Common Fisheries Policy and we’re being told that we must indeed ration our consumption:,,, It’s all there in Garret Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons. Where there’s an open access, what Hardin calls Marxian, resource, then that is just fine. If the regeneration capacity is greater than the annual demand, then all who want can have simply by taking. (See where this is going?) continue reading the article here 14:50

Fishermen’s fury as Brussels DEMANDS access to 60% of British Waters after Brexit

Scotland’s fisherman have said they will not bow to pressure from the European Union (EU) to allow them to be held to ransom over Brexit. And they are calling for Theresa May to make an immediate impact assessment on current fish stocks in United Kingdom waters. The European Parliament Committee on Fisheries (PECH) is demanding access under its common fisheries policy for the right for fishermen from other countries to access up to 60 per cent of Britain’s fish supplies. And Brussels bosses say they will not allow Britain to sell fish to the EU should they not get their way. The concerning rhetoric has been blasted by fishermen in Scotland who are wholly opposed to the EU over the effect the bloc’s policies are having on their livelihoods.  The industry is hitting back and today issued a direct demand to the UK and Scottish governments not to give away their income. continue reading the story here 13:46

Update – Sweden’s Request to Ban American Lobster in the EU Risks Violating the Rules of the WTO

In July 2016, we reported that the Swedish Government had requested that the European Union impose a ban on imports of U.S./Canadian live lobster (Homarus americanus). Sweden argues that Homarus americanus should be designated an “alien invasive species” under EU law because it is not native to the EU, it poses serious risks to European lobsters through the spreading of disease, and because once the American lobster is established, it will be impossible to eradicate. An expert group of the European Commission’s Directorate of Environment, the Scientific Forum on Invasive Alien Species, has assessed Sweden’s request in terms of the sufficiency of the scientific evidence presented. In September 2016, it confirmed the validity of the risk assessment and found there was enough evidence to move forward with a full scientific review of Sweden’s request. This broader review of the request to ban live American lobster in the EU is expected to be completed by spring 2017, at the earliest. If that review approves the request, the motion would go to the full European Commission for a final vote. Continue reading the article here 10:25

Fight for fishermen – European Union bid to grab UK fish stocks under Brexit revealed

Leaked reports claimed this week that MEPs in the European Parliament are drafting provisions to be included in the final Brexit agreement – including legislation that Britain should not be allowed an “increase to the UK’s share of fishing opportunities for jointly fished stocks”. EU countries want fishing rules which apply to all member states to continue to apply to Britain’s waters after the divorce. As such, the fish in Britain’s territory would be seen as a ‘shared resource’. The suggestion Britain could be overruled by the EU – once the split becomes official – has angered British politicians. Outraged Mike Hookem said Britain’s waters must return to “UK control regardless of what the EU want”. Continue reading the story here 06:54

Sweden not giving up fight over lobster import ban

Sweden isn’t giving up on a long-running battle with the U.S. and Canada over lobsters that have turned up in Swedish waters. Officials with Sweden told The Associated Press that their country is working on a new proposal about how to deal with American lobsters that have turned up. A controversy about whether American lobsters are invasive in Swedish waters has simmered for almost a year. Sweden had wanted the European Union to consider a ban of imports of American lobsters. That call came after Sweden announced it had found 32 American lobsters in its waters. European Union officials turned away that request in October after American and Canadian scientists and politicians raised concerns about a lack of evidence that the lobsters warranted such a sweeping ban. But Swedish officials told the AP that the country remains concerned that American lobsters could interfere with European lobsters, which have economic value. Read the story here 15:09

Quota Challenge as English Fishermen Claim They Are Being Sacrificed to Appease Scottish Nationalists

The National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO), which represents fishermen in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, has railed against the UK government for adopting “a policy of appeasement” towards separatist politicians in Scotland, handing over 1,500 tonnes of England’s fishing quota to the devolved administration in Edinburgh. Scotland voted to remain in the United Kingdom in 2014, but the Scottish National Party (SNP) has retained its grip on the regional executive, albeit as a minority administration. While nominally concerned with achieving full Scottish independence, the leadership of the SNP are staunchly in favour of the European Union (EU). Following the Brexit vote last year, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has been pressuring Theresa May to either keep the UK in the Single Market or find a way for Scotland to remain in it while the rest of the UK leaves. Read the story here 11:26

European Union backs off North American lobster ban

American-lobsterThe European Union is backing off a Swedish proposal to ban imports of American lobster into 28 member countries. Officials with the EU say the European Commission has informed Sweden it will not propose the lobster be listed as invasive. It will instead pursue measures less likely to disrupt trade. The EU decided last month to conduct an extensive review of a proposal to ban lobsters imported from the U.S. and Canada. A scientific panel had concluded Sweden raised valid points in requesting to declare the American lobster an invasive species. Fishermen in New England and Canada, congressmen and scientists opposed the ban. They said the proposed ban wasn’t based in sound science. The dispute started when Sweden announced it had found 32 American lobsters in its waters. The federal Liberal government expressed alarm at word the EU was considering a ban, vowing it would “vigorously” try to convince the European Union that American lobster did not pose a threat. Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc said Canadian and American officials had “compelling” scientific evidence that U.S. lobster is not an invasive species. Those who make a living fishing lobster could have lost $200 million in business if such a ban was imposed. link 18:19

Sweden’s lobster game; stick to soccer

img_bb17699e767a466e8839_1_1_jjephlq_l18399121Legendary American soccer goalie Hope Solo was rightly suspended for calling the Swedish national team a “bunch of cowards” after the European side beat the U.S. women’s team in the Rio Olympics last month. Playing the more talented and explosive American side, Sweden played a crafty, intelligent, defensive game for 120 minutes. The result was a scoreless tie after regulation and extra time. The Swedes won the shootout that followed. Today, Nova Scotia’s lobster fishermen may be feeling some sympathy for Solo. For Sweden is clearly playing a defensive game as it attempts to get the European Union to ban imported lobsters from Canada and the United States (which for the most part means Nova Scotia and Maine). Read the Op-ed here 11:12

Federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc vows fight as European Union reviews impact of American lobster

dominic-leblancFederal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc says the Canadian and American governments will “vigorously” try to convince the European Union that the American lobster does not pose a threat. LeBlanc vowed to fight after an arm of the European Union announced Tuesday that there’s enough scientific evidence to move forward with a review of Sweden’s request to declare the American lobster an invasive species. “The analysis of the scientific evidence is far from certain from our perspective. We believe we have equally compelling, if not more compelling, scientific evidence to say that it is not an invasive species whatsoever,” LeBlanc said Tuesday. Read the rest here 17:44

EU moves one step closer to banning North American lobsters

American-lobsterThe European Union has moved one step closer to a possible ban on live North American lobsters after its scientific advisory forum released a recommendation in favour of including the animal on its invasive species list. In a decision released Tuesday morning, the EU scientific forum said it has submitted a “positive opinion” on the validity of an earlier proposal from Sweden to ban lobsters from Canada and the United States. A final decision by the EU is expected in April of 2017. In December, 2015, Sweden proposed a ban on live North American lobsters in the EU. In its proposal, Sweden argued that North American lobsters have been found in European waters in the past, and that the species could threaten local species. Read the rest of the story here 10:23

EU’s Scientific Forum on Invasive Alien Species Opinion Delays American Lobster Ruling

lobsterDM0811_468x521An opinion by a European authority about whether to classify American lobster as an invasive species – the first step in what could be a long process to ban lobster imports in the European Union – has been delayed. A spokesman said members are still gathering information for the EU’s Scientific Forum on Invasive Alien Species about whether American lobsters are a threat to native lobster populations. Swedish scientists submitted a report  on July 31 saying they don’t have the science to prove that American lobsters have invaded and become established in North Atlantic waters but the threat is real and can be fully neutralized only by an import ban. Read the rest here 11:17

Sweden has until July 31 for scientific justification claiming that North American lobster is invasive

lobsterEuropean Union scientists have given Sweden until July 31 to address U.S. and Canadian objections to Sweden’s claims that North American lobster is an invasive species that should be subject to an import ban. The scientific forum on invasive species met Wednesday to discuss Sweden’s claim that North American lobsters, which have been found in small numbers off the coasts of Sweden, Norway and Great Britain, pose a threat to the smaller European lobster. The forum asked Sweden to update its scientific justification for labeling the North American lobster as an invader to address objections raised by U.S. and Canadian scientists this month, including the argument that Sweden can’t show proof of an invasion despite decades of imports, or that offspring of the two species can spawn a second-generation hybrid. Read the rest here 17:28

Bertie Armstrong: ending EU fisheries policy a good decision

scottish fishermenFrom the article: Of course, the European Union, and the much-derided Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) are at the very heart of that, which is why so many fishermen are implacably opposed to both. This is hardly surprising and it is worth reminding ourselves why fishing takes a unique position in Europe, making it so different from other industry sectors. Sovereignty and jurisdiction (beyond each member state’s slim strip of territorial waters) is pooled and the EU uses the CFP to govern every aspect of the industry. That fundamental change – the trading of sovereignty for collective control – took place when we joined. Collaboration is vital under any governance regime, but non-EU coastal states such as Norway and Iceland retain jurisdiction and negotiate on their own behalf. Read the op-ed here 10:56

Peterhead: Scottish fishermen see benefits of cutting free from EU’s net

image peterhead brexitAt 7.30am on a fresh weekday in northeast Scotland, Peterhead fish market is in full swing. Agents representing local fishermen reel off latest prices for haddock, hake and halibut at the top of their voices, like gruff bingo callers. Buyers, wrapped up in heavy coats, cast a critical eye over plastic boxes filled with catch fresh from the vast North Sea. Peterhead is Europe’s largest fish market. After many difficult years, business is slowly improving. The buyers’ stubbed pens recorded sales of £180 million last year, and plans are afoot for a £49 million (€62 million) expansion of the sprawling port funded, in part, by European Union grants. But there is little love for the EU among Peterhead’s fishermen, many of whom blame Brussels for imposing inflexible regulations and failing to protect their industry from foreign fleets. Read the rest here 21:41

Cormac Burke talks common sense about Leaving the EU

logo fishing for leaveFIGHTING FOR COMMON SENSE IN A SYSTEM WHERE A CORRECTLY ‘BENT’ BANANA IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN LIVELIHOODS, TRADITION AND HERITAGE

Although the final decision of a ‘Brexit’ will ultimately lie in the hands of voters who are looking at a wide range of economic impacts or possible benefits and not just one industry or sector, the ‘Fishing for Leave’ campaign believes that it is vital that these voters must be made fully aware of the destruction and decimation of the once ‘great’ British fishing industry since power of control was surrendered to the European Union. At the core of the anger of those wanting freedom and to break away from the EU is simply the fact that this is “not what we signed up for” — as a nation (indeed for all the individual nations who are members of the EU), the agreement was to join a European ‘common market’ which, in principle, was a reasonable proposal i.e. that a community of nations should work together as one to benefit the economy of each individual. Read the article here 15:33

Maine lobster suppliers joined Massachusetts and Canadian peers in Brussels to foil EU import ban

10-lobsters1The six Maine companies joined their Massachusetts and Canadian peers, as well as national trade officials, to discuss the proposed ban with buyers and trade officials from eight European countries, including the three biggest importers of Homarus americanus: France, Italy and Spain. The meeting occurred at the world’s largest seafood industry trade show, said spokesman Gavin Gibbons of the National Fisheries Institute, an American seafood industry trade group. About 75 people met for 90 minutes to talk about how to avoid the all-out ban that Sweden asked the European Union to adopt in March after finding North American lobsters in European waters. Read the story here 13:19

State Department enters trade dispute over Maine lobsters

The U.S. State Department is adding its muscle to help resolve an impending trade dispute between exporters of live Maine lobsters and the European Union. Responding to a letter from Maine’s congressional delegation, officials in the Obama administration have committed the State Department to address the trade threat. In March, Sweden announced it was attempting to ban live North American lobsters from the 28-country EU, citing concerns that some of them have been found in European waters and are an “invasive species” that threatens Europe’s native lobster species. “The State Department is on our side,” Sen. Angus King said Friday evening, “and I think they’re going to be aggressive.” Read the rest here 11:27

Brexit – Many in British Fishing Port Want E.U. Out of Their Waters

15brexitfish-web01-jumboBrixham, England — Mike Walker, a retired fisherman here, sums up what many in this southern English port town think of the European Union. Britain’s membership in the 28-nation union has encouraged France, Spain, the Netherlands and “the rest of them lot” to “come rape our waters,” Mr. Walker said. Others here might use less extreme language. But Mr. Walker’s opinion resonates in this town of 17,000. And it signals a wider British discomfort with the European Union before the country votes in a June 23 referendum on whether to quit the union. Whether their grievances involve fish, immigrants or meddlesome rules, many Britons resent what they view as interference by European institutions and bureaucrats based in Brussels. Read the rest here 17:38

Gloucester: Proposed lobster ban would hurt local businesses

Vince Mortillaro, one of the owners of the Gloucester-based family lobster business that bears his name, is watching the evolving trade dispute with Sweden and potentially the rest of the European Union over American lobsters and he doesn’t particularly like what he’s seeing. “We’re talking about a big chunk of everybody’s business,” Mortillaro said Tuesday when asked about Sweden’s attempt to convince the entire European Union — which numbers 28 member states — to ban the import of American lobsters to Europe. “Between the U.S. and Canada selling lobsters and the European Union buying and reselling them, we’re probably talking about a $1 billion business.” Read the rest here  09:27

Sweden Asks EU to Stop American Lobster Invasion. How do they know they’re not Canadian?!!

fdd5d0827454100abbed4a111811b525Sweden has asked the European Union for help to stop an invasion of American lobsters, saying they could wipe out their European cousins with deadly diseases. The Swedish Environment Ministry said Friday that more than 30 American lobsters have been found along Sweden’s west coast in recent years. It said the American lobster, also known as Maine lobster, “can carry diseases and parasites that could spread to the European lobster and result in extremely high mortality.” It also said interbreeding among the crustaceans could have “negative genetic effects” and threaten the survival of the European species. Sweden asked the EU to list the American lobster as a “foreign species,” which would prohibit imports of live American lobsters into the 28-nation bloc. link 11:11

Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ last in, first out (LIFO) is working exactly as planned

dfocrestLIFO was never intended to have a long shelf life. Its purpose was and is to pave the way for what has been in the planning and negotiating stage for a long time now, and which is designed to replace it — the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union. Between now and when that trade agreement is ratified, LIFO will help force inshore fishers, processors, plant workers, coastal communities and out of the fishery — and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador is about to take a $280-million bribe to help grease the wheels. LIFO is merely a symptom, a precursor if you will, to CETA. Read the rest here 08:40

Paul Davis raising questions about sale of Quin-Sea Fisheries and CETA

Opposition Leader Paul Davis is raising questions about the pending sale of one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s largest seafood companies to a firm wholly. It was revealed last month that a company called Royal Greenland has reached an agreement to purchase Quin-Sea Fisheries Ltd. In a news release issued on New Year’s Eve, PC leader and former premier Paul Davis said he has written the licensing board, urging it to consider a number of questions, including the possibility that a foreign company may gain control of Canadian seafood quotas. Read the article here 16:35

Irish fishermen are getting another raw deal

Ireland has 23% of European waters and the richest fishing waters in the European union, yet we are allowed a mere 4% of white-fish quotas. Irish fishermen are tied up for lack of quotas and have no other means of making a living, except fishing, and yet they pay their taxes. It is estimated that pelagic vessels hold 86% of the mackerel quotas and land at Castletownbere, in West Cork, for shipment to the continent. The proposed expansion of this area is to facilitate foreign vessels and not Irish fishermen, because they have no quotas to fish their own grounds. It is a bad deal. Link Irish Examiner 12:48

Discard ban delayed

Ian-Duncan-Picture-300x337Fishing leaders are high about cod and haddock quotas being set to rise significantly. They are also relieved a plan to introduce a discard ban on cod in three weeks has been delayed by 12 months. However stalled negotiations over Faroe’s right to catch a large percentage of its mackerel quota in EU, especially Scottish and Shetland waters, has aggravated local fishermen. Shetland Fishermen’s Association executive officer Simon Collins said the current agreement is “hopelessly skewed” in favour of Shetland’s Scandinavian neighbours. Read the article here 18:27