- West Country (W)
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The owners of some of the west country's smaller fishing boats are celebrating tonight after a High Court victory over the size of their catch. A judge has rejected a challenge by larger operators over the way quotas are allocated.
It paves the way for Ministers to give a larger share to boats under 10 m in length - though the battle could yet go to the Court of Appeal, as Bob Constantine reports.
Owners of smaller fishing boats in the west country have welcomed a court ruling that they are entitled to a larger share of the nation's catch.
A judge today rejected a legal challenge by bigger operators over the way fishing quotas are allocated.
He upheld a decision by the government to give inshore vessels a higher amount.
However he also gave permission for the case to go to the Court of Appeal.
Jim Portas is the Chairman of the UK Association of Fish Producer Organisations:
A judge today rejected a legal challenge by large fishing operators over the way quotas are allocated. He upheld a decision by the government to give inshore vessels a higher amount.
Ariana Densham from Greenpeace welcomes the court ruling:
The UK Association of Fish Producer Organisations has lost its High Court battle with the Government over the re-allocation of fishing quotas.
The association challenged a decision by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to redistribute "fixed quota allocations" (FQAs) from its members who own vessels greater than 33ft (10m) to boats that are 33ft (10m) or under.
Tom de la Mare QC, appearing for UKAFPO at London's High Court, argued that the re-allocation decision was unlawful and discriminatory under both EU and domestic law, and amounted to an abuse of power.
Today Mr Justice Cranston rejected the challange and ruled that there was no discrimination.
Small scale fishermen in Devon and Cornwall are awaiting a High Court ruling which could affect their catches.
Britain's largest fishing groups have challenged a government decision aimed at reallocating some unused quotas to smaller players in the industry. A decision's expected in London.