Good stewardship results in proposed quota increases for 2020

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Fishing quotas for several of the key South west fish stocks are increasing in 2019, demonstrating that good stewardship of fish stocks results in economic and environmental benefits.

The International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) is an independent scientific organisation that advises international governments on setting fishing quotas. It released its advice for 2020 quotas for most stocks in July, bringing positive news for South west fishing with increases proposed for sole in the Western English Channel and Bristol Channel. Our beam trawlers operating from Brixham and fishing in these areas land regularly and the fish is sold via Brixham Fish Market.

Quota regulates the amount of fish that can be caught by commercial fishing vessels, such as those in the Waterdance fleet. Adherance to fishing quotas is a key part of the Waterdance sustainability strategy. Sustainability improvements implemented by Waterdance vessels such as larger, more selective nets have helped fish stocks to grow in recent years. Higher fish populations permit larger quotas without damaging their long-term health.

Waterdance fishes most of the quotas it owns, ensuring the maximum benefit to the UK economy. We employ 120 sea going fishermen and creating 250 jobs in total in the South west of England. Other quota not fished is made available to vessels short of quota, or those who cannot afford to purchase quota to help them comply with rules to land all fish caught and offer them extra income opportunities.

Key stocks Waterdance owns are in ICES Area VII, which covers the sea areas in the West of the UK, and include sole, monkfish, haddock and Hake. The low environmental impact of hake fishing has been recognised by the Marine Stewardship Council, an independent accreditation body, certifying it as sustainable.

Author: Martyn Youell

John Williams