Sunday, January 17, 2010

New nets could end fishing quotas

By: Richard Dickey

New policies in the South East may end fishing quotas. Currently, fishermen have a set amount of fish they are allowed to catch. Any extra has to be thrown overboard. This is a waste of good fish for the fisherman, and also a detriment as they are sometimes forced to keep dead fish that comes up in the nets.
A new type of net that uses larger holes could solve this problem. Current trials have shown a "reduction of up to 67% in the amount of dead fish they have to throw overboard". Also these new nets help to only catch mature (meaning larger) fish. Smaller juvenile fish simply swim through the net. Dead fish, due to them not struggling, also tend to pass through the holes.
The end result of these new nets is to put an end to fishing quotas. If the nets work as they should, all that needs to be done is to have all fishing vessels equipped with these nets and have them inspected. Because of the effectiveness of the nets in only catching the "good" fish, quotas could be all but abolished.
"Joe Borg, the European Fisheries Commissioner, admitted in April that his Common Fisheries Policy needed to be totally rewritten." This sums up the current state of fishing policy. If these new nets are used properly, new policy could be written to make the industry much more effective.


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