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Commercial Fishing

UK FISHERIES BILL UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT

UK fisheries bill under the spotlight. The impact of the Fisheries Bill on the Scottish fishing industry is to be examined in a one-off evidence session with stakeholders and the Scottish and UK governments today (9 January).

The Bill was published in October 2018 and provides the UK Government with new powers post-Brexit. With the UK no longer part of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the Bill will enable the UK Government to set annual total allowable catches (TACs) for UK waters and determine which vessels can access UK waters.

The Committee will first hear from representatives from the fishing and seafood processing industry, as well as environmental groups. Members will then question the Scottish and UK fisheries ministers.

Questions are likely to focus on issues including quotas for fishing vessels, known as “fishing opportunities”, access to Scottish waters and environmental sustainability. The Committee will also examine the role of both the Scottish and UK governments in fisheries policy post-Brexit.

The Bill extends certain powers, including on grants and charges, to the Welsh Government and NI Executive but not the Scottish Government. The Committee will be seeking an update from both Ministers on the reasons behind the difference and what is being done to address the discrepancy.

The Fisheries Bill is currently awaiting Report stage in the House of Commons.

Witnesses

Wednesday 9 January 2019, Grimond Room, Portcullis House for panels one and two and Committee Room 8, Palace of Westminster for panel three

At  9.30am – Panel one: Stakeholders

  • Bertie Armstrong, Chief Executive, Scottish Fishermen’s Federation
  • TBC, Scottish Seafood Association
  • Alex Kinninmonth, Head of Marine Policy, RSPB Scotland/Scottish Environment Link
  • John Anderson, Chief Executive, Scottish Fishermen’s Organisation

At 10.45am – Panel two: Scottish Government via video-link (until 11.50am)

  • Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy

At 3.00pm – Panel three: UK Government

  • George Eustice MP, Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

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