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Food for Thought: British Fishing

The great British fishing industry embodies food foraging in its grandest form as the freshest, wildest produce is harvested from our seas.

And after gruelling talks EU ministers have hammered out a new deal which still restricts fishermen’s catches next year, but offers hope of long-term recovery. The best news is the agreement in principle that discarding fish caught by accident which exceed quotas should be phased out by 2018.

And that could apply to mackerel and herring within two years with cod, haddock, plaice and sole to follow, if the proposal is firmed up in future meetings.

More good news is that haddock and prawn stocks have increased so healthily, that their catch levels have been significantly increased. Cod is still struggling to recover and the number of days when boats can put out in search of the nation’s favourite fish will stay limited. But the Government is pleased with the latest round of talks, said UK Fisheries Minister Ben Bradshaw: “We have successfully defended the number of days our boats are allowed to fish,” he said.

“We took an approach which reflects the need for conservation of all our fish stocks while protecting the economic interests of the industry.” So, this summer, let’s celebrate our fantastic fishing tradition with hope of a sustained, bright future for British seafood!

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