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Looe fisherman says quotas were already too low

Fisherman Dave Bond says quotas were already too low Credit: ITV West Country/Kathy Wardle

Dave Bond has fished out of Looe for 36 years. He says EU quotas are taking their toll on the fleet.

Next year's quotas aren't quite as hard hitting as feared. But there are still reductions to sole, cod, haddock and plaice. Quotas for species like megrim and monkfish will stay the same.

Dover sole's used to be three months work for me, and now I can't even fish Dover Sole's because we catch our quota for the month in less than an hour, it's ridiculous.

No cut is a good cut in our eyes, the base figures they started with weren't good. From our point of view as a ten metre boat, we had insufficient quota when it first started so any cut is obviously just another nail in the coffin really.

– Dave Bond, fisherman

Fishing expert warns South West fisherman will suffer

Plymouth Fisheries Manager warns fishermen in the South West will lose out Credit: David Cheskin/PA

Plymouth Fisheries manager Pete Bromley has warned that fishermen in the South West may still be forced out of the industry despite the Government securing what it claimed was a “fair deal” at European talks to agree new quotas.

The EU Fisheries and Agriculture Council meeting ended late last night. Whilst the outcome was not as devastating as initially feared, the long-term impact of the new deal would still have far-reaching negative effects.

The new quotas are the best result for the South West fishing industry that we could have hoped for from what is now accepted to be a bad management system, and admittedly not the disaster we first feared. But whilst they may not herald the demise of the industry entirely, they will still increase the pressure on fishermen already struggling to operate viable businesses.

Maintaining the quota of some species at the same level as last year might be seen as a ‘win’ but the operating costs of fishing vessels in the coming year doesn’t stay the same; costs like fuel and fishing nets inevitably increase. Therefore simple economics means once again, fishermen will be worse off – and in some cases, possibly forced out of the industry or face having to reduce the number of their crew to stay viable.

Quotas are still continually being set too low, often because of flawed, inaccurate or insufficient scientific data, but there comes a point where fishermen will go out of business if they are not allowed to catch enough fish to pay the bills.

– Pete Bromley, Manager of Plymouth Fisheries and Harbour Master of Sutton Harbour

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Fishing quotas are bad news for the West Country

New agreement on fishing quotas and industry rules will affect the West Credit: David Cheskin/PA

A new agreement on fishing quotas and industry rules has left the West Country's fishermen concerned for their livelihoods.

The package for next year was signed off at the EU Fisheries and Agriculture Council following negotiations in Brussels. some proposed cuts to quotas were reduced. Fisheries Minister George Eustice was pleased with the result, and said it would lead to "sustainable fisheries and a strong UK fishing industry".

But the new rules will have a direct impact on fishing industries in the South West.

  • There will be a 10 per cent cut to Channel plaice, which will have a big impact on Brixham, a lot of concern.
  • Cuts to the white fishery - cod 26 per cent, whiting 14 per cent, haddock 12 pre cent - which will lead to more discards.
  • For Newlyn’s net fishing things are looking better. They won’t have any cut in angler or megrim. And the hake quota is going up by 11 per cent.
  • For the Bristol Channel, the Sole quota is being cut by 15 per cent.
  • There is renewed concern about small boats. This year they ran out of quota in the Bristol Channel in October. The experts say they now expect it to be even worse in 2015.

Somerset farmers to protest falling milk prices

Farmers will protest in Bridgwater tonight over a further cut to the price they get paid for milk.

The new drop in price means farmers only receive an average of 24p per litre of milk - which costs around 30p to produce.

This follows similar action in October, when farmers blockaded a supermarket depot in Bridgwater.

Tune in to ITV News West Country at 6pm tonight, when we'll be talking to a dairy farmer about what has prompted this latest protest.

Tonight's protest will be the latest in a long-running dispute. Credit: ITV News

The price of milk could drop even further

Some dairy farmers could get even less for their milk Credit: PA

Dairy farmers across the region were hit by another financial blow today - as it emerged many of them are to get even less for their milk.

It will affect farmers who have contracts with Dairy Crest to supply milk to Davidstow - the North Cornwall based creamery.

From 3 January - they will get 1.25p less per litre for their milk - that's just under 28p per litre. Last April they were getting around 34p.

Over the last few months the message from farmers here - is that they are struggling to break even. Some are even wondering if there's a future in the industry

We are prepared for worse to follow as we know that China has stopped buying hugely - the Russian ban has added insult to injury on that front.

And also we've had a brilliant year for production. Production has been racing ahead worldwide so you have supply and demand issues only likely to head one way as it stands.

– andy branton Dairy farmer

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Exeter-based Flybe responds to Autumn Statement

Exeter-based Flybe has welcomed George Osbourne's announcement that air passenger duty is to be scrapped for children under 12 from next year.

“The scrapping of Air Passenger Duty (APD) on flights for children under the age of 12 is to be welcomed. However, this is just tinkering at the edges and represents a missed opportunity by The Chancellor to show that he is serious about the economic regeneration of the UK regions. Despite continuing to engage with the government to emphasise the unfairness of APD, the needs of our regional passengers are still being ignored.

“It’s time for the Chancellor to seriously listen to the UK regions and deliver reform quickly, to ensure the government does not inflict further damage to the UK’s aspirations for economic growth.”

“The Smith Commission’s recommendations to devolve APD to the Scottish Government shows progress, and we believe its implementation would demonstrate the benefits ofcutting or abolishing the tax to other nations or regions within the UK, which in turn would deliver a balanced economic recovery.”

– Flybe’s Chief Executive Saad Hammad
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Osborne announces stamp duty overhaul

Chancellor George Osborne has announced plans for a total overhaul of the "badly-designed" stamp duty system paid on the purchases of homes.

The reform will mean new marginal rates that the Chancellor says will mean a stamp duty cut for 98% of homebuyers.

  • No tax on first £125,000 paid
  • 2% on the portion up to £250,000
  • 5% up to £925,000
  • 10% up to £1.5 million
  • 12% on everything over that
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Air Passenger Duty to be scrapped for all children

Air Passenger Duty will be scrapped for all children by 2016, Chancellor George Osborne has announced.

George Osborne hopes his announcement will reduce the cost of flights for families. Credit: PA Wire

"We’re going to require airlines to list the charges separately from taxes on tickets, but I also want to reduce the cost of those tickets for families directly.

"From the 1st May next year, Air Passenger Duty for children under 12 will be abolished. From the following year, we’ll get rid of APD for children under 16 altogether."

ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi tweeted: "Birmingham family with 2 young children welcomes cut in air passenger duty."

"They will save £170 on planned flight to Dubai."

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