Defra has a new Minister for fisheries, and initiates a public consultation on the EU’s impact on fisheries

As a result of recently announced ministerial changes in the Westminster Government, Mr. George Eustice MP has taken over from Mr. Richard Benyon MP as the Minister in charge of fisheries and marine conservation, including the current marine conservation zone (MCZMCZ Marine Conservation Zone) delivery programme.

Also, in a press release dated 21st October 2013, Defra has announced;” We have launched new calls for evidence to hear from farmers and fishermen on how the EU has affected the UK national interest.

“People with knowledge of the EU, farming and fishing industries have been invited to share their views on how the EU has affected the UK national interest. These calls for evidence are part of the Government’s Balance of Competences Review, an analysis of what EU membership means for the UK. The review is examining the scope of EU powers and the effects they have on the UK.

“The Agriculture report will examine EU powers for the Common Agricultural Policy, plant health and forestry. The Fisheries report will examine EU powers for the Common Fisheries Policy, the management of fisheries and the farming of fish and shellfish.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson MP said: “We want to hear from people with direct experience of what our membership of the EU means in practice. Our farmers and fishermen are affected by it every day, so I’d like to know what they think. Anyone involved in agriculture, forestry or the fishing industry will have a view, as will the thousands of businesses linked to them. This is a real opportunity to inform the national debate on Europe.”

The calls for evidence will run for twelve weeks from 21st October 2013 to 13th January 2014. The final reports will be published in summer 2014.

Defra states: “The Balance of Competences Review is led by the Government in consultation with think-tanks, academia, businesses, Parliament, civil society and EU institutions. It aims to improve public understanding of the nature of our EU membership and contribute to the wider European debate about how to modernise, reform and improve the EU.”

Source: Defra website, see https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers/parliamentary-under-secretary-of-state–38  and  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-of-eu-activity-on-agriculture-and-fisheries

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