"What we have to do as ministers in Government is to make sure that we allocate what fishing opportunities there are fairly.
"This was unused quota which was consistently unused. There was a real need for it within the inshore sector and I made the decision because that's what I saw as my job and I'm glad the court has backed me up."
“This ruling is a great victory not just for small-scale fishermen, but for anyone who cares about the future of our seas and coastal communities. The judge has demolished the arguments used by the fishing barons to justify their stranglehold on Britain's fish, giving back control of our seas to the public and our elected government."
“With the backing of the UK High Court, the fisheries minister Richard Benyon is in a stronger position than ever before to wipe the slate clean on decades of monumental mismanagement of fishing quota by successive governments. It's time to build a vibrant and viable future for the UK’s marine environment and the fishing communities that depend on it.
“Fishing opportunities must go to those fishermen who guarantee the best return for our environment, our coastal communities, and our economy.”
Small scale fishermen in the region are celebrating after the High Court upheld a decision to re-allocate fishing quotas.
The UK Association of Fish Producer Organisations had challenged a decision by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to redistribute "fixed quota allocations" who own vessels greater than 33ft (10m) to boats that are 33ft (10m) or under.
The case is being seen as a historic test case over who "owns" and controls UK fishing quotas.
Environmental pressure group Greenpeace fought a joint campaign with the New Under Ten Fishermen's Association for greater priority to be given to small boats on the grounds that they used "more sustainable fishing methods".