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Weymouth Fisherman Says New Fishing Quotas Won't Help Smaller Fleets

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9:33am 18th December 2014

A fairer deal for UK fishermen may help larger fishing fleets BUT they'll bring no benefit to our coast, according to a Weymouth fisherman.

The government have announced they've negotiated new quota's with EU Ministers, which means British fishermen will be able to catch more cod.

They'll also be able to fish for more prawns and monk fish in the North Sea.

But Dave Pitman has been fishing the waters of Weymouth and Portland for over 40 years and says they've been overlooked.

He told Wessex FM: "They gave better quotas to the bigger ships but for a smaller fleet, it looks like we've been missed out on again."

Decisions made in Europe were based on three clear principles: following the available scientific advice; achieving sustainable levels of fishing and reducing discards.

Commenting from Brussels UK Fisheries Minister George Eustice said: "Although these were difficult negotiations, I am pleased that we were able to secure the best possible deal to ensure sustainable fisheries and a strong UK fishing industry."

"While fishermen had feared there would be major cuts from the Commission, by bringing new science to the table we were able to keep the same quota as last year for many species, including monkfish, megrim and pollock in the South West and skates and rays around the UK. This was in addition to important increases to North Sea cod and haddock quota which will benefit Scottish fishermen."

"In some cases there are still some reductions in quota, but I entered these discussions with the firm belief that any decisions need to support our shared goals of a thriving fishing industry, sustainable fish stocks and a healthy marine environment."

"If we want a long-term future for our industry we have to listen to the available science and agree fishing opportunities which support the sustainability of our stocks."

Some boats in Weymouth haven't been working since October because of the tougher rules from Brussels.

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