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Statement on fisheries agreement

05 October 2011

The Minister for Economic Development, Senator Alan Maclean, has issued the following statement on the proposed Fisheries Management Agreement (FMA) between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Marine Scotland, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Wales and the Bailiwick of Guernsey (including Sark and Alderney):

“On Wednesday 5 October Sark’s Chief Pleas will be the first of the administrations of the Bailiwick of Guernsey to consider approving the FMA governing the arrangements for fisheries between the islands and the UK.

“The FMA also addresses fishing vessel licensing controls within the 3 to 12 nautical mile zone around the Guernsey Bailiwick.

“While the Government of Jersey recognises the importance of fisheries conservation and welcomes the precedent set by many aspects of the FMA, concerns have been raised by the fishing community and administrative officers about the accuracy and intent of the agreement and supporting documents as currently drafted.

“A meeting has been set for Thursday 20 October for Jersey and Guernsey officials to discuss the FMA and the implications for all islands and the other jurisdictions affected and we look forward to the outcome of those discussions.

“We will be keen to continue discussion with the Guernsey authorities and to ensure that Jersey vessels are not disadvantaged. The concerns raised in Jersey centre on the apparent exclusion of Jersey registered vessels from the categories of vessels which will be granted licences and we will be seeking assurances from our Guernsey colleagues that neither of the islands’ fisheries are disadvantaged as a result.

“In the interests of all parties, the Jersey authorities want to ensure that the intention of the FMA, the restrictions which will be imposed and the room for adjustment in the future to accommodate changes within the industry are clear and non-discriminatory.

“In issuing a statement ahead of Wednesday’s meeting of the Chief Pleas we hope that any concerns and inaccuracies will be clarified before the FMA is concluded.”

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