Compensation for pollack fishers in Devon and Cornwall hit by zero catch quota

A box of freshly-caught pollock in Plymouth
Freshly caught pollack in Plymouth

Pollack fishers in Devon and Cornwall who have been hit by a zero catch limit will receive compensation, the government has announced.

The Environment Secretary said although fishermen were warned of a possible quota reduction, they had not been adequately prepared for it to fall to zero.

Around 50 vessel owners who rely on pollack for at least 30% of their earnings will be directly compensated for half of their lost income.

Steve Barclay MP said: "I fully recognise the impact that the bycatch-only advice has had on pollack fishers in the South West and have therefore acted to provide support to those most affected.

“The compensation scheme will support these hardworking fishers and provide them with an opportunity to move away from a reliance on the pollack fishery as we work to further support the recovery of the stock.”

In a ministerial direction to his department, the environment secretary also warned “DEFRA needs to learn lessons from this case".

He also added "improvement in communications around the management of stocks in future, to prevent the industry being caught by surprise, as in this case, can further mitigate this."