Examination of Witness

Part of Fisheries Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:29 pm on 4th December 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Aaron Brown:

One of the amendments we put in was to amend it to hours at sea. It might seem contrary to Members that fishermen would want to tighten what could be perceived as a noose on themselves. That amendment was to get towards what we really need to get towards, which is some kind of catch-per-unit effort system of fisheries management.

Over the years, one of the clauses in the Bill we would like to see amended is right at the start: clause 1. It says that management will “ensure that…activities are”, which suggests that the Government kind of take a hammer and beats down the industry to meet their requirements. We would like to see that reversed so that policy requires management that delivers. In other words, the onus should be on the Government to say, “Okay, here are the objectives we want to meet. How do we move towards that?” We want it changed to hours of soak time at sea, because that is a far more accurate method of delivering catch-per-unit effort. You would be getting accurate data to deliver management that actually achieves objectives rather than just trying to take a hammer to the industry to make it comply.