Recreational anglers wriggle out of EU quotas plans

Conservative pressure and amendments pay off

Plans to bring recreational anglers into the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) have been watered down significantly by the European Parliament’s fisheries committee in a recent vote.

Article 47 of the proposed regulation would have required recreational fishermen to register their boats and whatever they catch would be counted against the fisheries quota for that country. Each country will also be required to allocate what share of its quota for each fish species will be available for commercial and recreational fisheries use.

However, following work by Conservative MEPs, the proposal was reworded so that national governments could decide whether they would include recreational fishermen in the regulation.

In an answer to a written question to the commission, EU Fisheries Commissioner, Joe Borg, confirmed: “The normal hobby angler who catches an insignificant number of fish when he goes out fishing and uses it exclusively for his private consumption will not be covered by the control regulation, even if he catches fish like cod which is under a recovery plan.”

After the vote, Sir Robert said:

“I am sorry that the Conservative amendment to delete article 47 was defeated in the Fisheries Committee. However, our fallback amendment which won majority support, together with the written answer received from Commissioner Borg, reassures me that recreational anglers have nothing to fear from the revised article 47.

“Only fishermen who target recovery stocks such as cod, hake, eel and bluefin tuna and seek to sell their catch, will come under the jurisdiction of the CFP. Recreational anglers who are simply catching fish, even cod or other recovery stock fish, for their own consumption, will not be affected.”

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