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  • Fisheries Management Agreement (FMA)

    Thursday 30 July 2015

    Statement from the Commerce & Employment Department

    The Commerce and Employment Department has learned that the Minister of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), George Eustice MP, has taken the decision to suspend the Fisheries Management Agreement (FMA) between the UK and the Bailiwick and to suspend the reciprocal UK licences held by Bailiwick vessels with effect from 1 August 2015.

    The Commerce and Employment Department is surprised and shocked at the short notice and lack of consultation that the UK Fishing Minister has given prior to suspending the FMA and the reciprocal licences.

    The Commerce and Employment Minister, Deputy Kevin Stewart said:  "This decision by the Minister of State has come out of the blue. Commerce and Employment is working with the fishing industry to ensure that its interests are robustly represented, at the same time as continuing to protect Bailiwick waters as a sustainable fishery.  We are actively considering every option we have in order to do that."

    Commerce and Employment is proactively seeking advice on the actions it may wish to take in response to this.  The Sea Fisheries team is engaging directly with Bailiwick fishermen and has now contacted all those who may be imminently and adversely affected.  A briefing for the Bailiwick wide fishing industry is also being organised for next week.

    This decision does not prevent any Bailiwick licenced fishermen from continuing to fish as normal in Bailiwick waters in accordance with the existing conditions on their licences, but does prevent Bailiwick vessels that currently hold a UK reciprocal licence from being able to fish in EU, including UK, waters.

    The UK Fisheries Minister has explained that this action is being taken in response to the States of Guernsey's policy to not to apply UK quota controls to Bailiwick vessels in Bailiwick waters in accordance with the FMA.

    ENDS

    Further Information

     

    • Bailiwick fishermen are not the subject of quota controls, a position that was negotiated during the establishment of the terms of the Fisheries Management Agreement prior to the coming into force of the Sea Fisheries licensing Law in 2013 and was set out in the States' reports at the time. 
    • The FMA sets out the principles of how the Bailiwick manages its waters and was signed in 2011. The Bailiwick has always stated that it did not wish to implement TAC and quotas as a tool to manage its waters, instead opting for a technical management based approach.
    • This approach was endorsed by the States of Guernsey, the States of Alderney and the Sark Chief Pleas as well as the Bailiwick fishing industry and is fundamental to ensuring that the Bailiwick's fishing communities can continue to fish sustainably and profitably.
    • Total Allowable Catches (TAC) or quota, form part of the European Commission's (the Commission) Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and are catch limits that are set for certain commercial fish stocks.
    • The Bailiwick of Guernsey is not an EU Member State and therefore does not receive any portion of the Member State allocation.  Catch data from all commercial fishing vessels, for species which are subject to quota, are reported to the UK.   The UK then deducts this from the UK's quota allocation under the Common Fisheries Policy
    • If quota controls were implemented, Bailiwick fishermen would be heavily restricted on the amounts of fish that can be caught. This would lead to many fishing businesses becoming unviable.  The current policy balances conservation interest in the Bailiwick fishery with sustainability for the Bailiwick industry in Bailiwick waters.

     

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  • Town Quay Traffic Layout

    Tuesday 28 July 2015

    The Board of the Environment Department has today considered the request of the Chief Minister's Town Seafront Working Group to revert, at least on a temporary basis, back to two lanes of traffic heading South along the Quay.

    The Board has agreed to this request.

    The Department has always made clear that this was an experiment and that there was no overriding commitment to retain a single lane.  However, we cannot ignore current traffic engineering standards, designed to achieve safe crossings, or safety reports received from respected traffic engineering advisors, which state that the previous informal crossing cannot continue to exist alongside two lanes of Southbound traffic.  This situation is further compounded by the very high footfall resulting from cruise ships.  Although the Working Party decided that the crossing would be manned on cruise days, this is only for ships over a certain capacity.

    Therefore, in agreeing to reinstate two lanes we must consider what can be done about the informal crossing.  The Department will seek further specific advice and guidance but based on current information the only apparent options at present are to formalise the crossing by way of traffic signals or close the crossing completely.  As converting the crossing to one controlled by signals would take some time and necessitate further road closures, then unless another acceptable and safe solution can be found which accords with design safety standards we will very reluctantly have no option but to close the crossing for the time being.

    We are aware that some people feel that the crossing worked previously and hence could reinstalled as it was.  However, living with something that is defective whilst dealing with other priorities might be defensible, but actively reinstalling something that is known to be unsafe, due to the risk of a vehicle in one lane of traffic not seeing a pedestrian, cannot be defended.

    Reinstating two lanes will also mean that the pinch point that existed at the slipway to the Victoria Marina and which was alleviated by widening the pavement in order to facilitate Public Services' recent move of the cruise ship landing point will be reintroduced as the pavement is narrowed again.  This is an area where cruise ship passengers and others currently congregate to cross the road and it would present a major concern if the crossing was to continue to be used, but with a closure of the informal crossing this pinch point will only impact on those seeking to walk along the Quay towards the Crown Pier crossing.

    Calls to remove the flower boxes, passenger welcoming facilities, and other arrangements at the Albert Pier are matters for the Public Services Department.

    Contact Information:

    Steve Smith, Chief Officer
    Environment Department
    Tel: 01481 717200

     

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  • Guernsey's Civil Protection Volunteers are sworn in as Special Constables

    Monday 27 July 2015

    Picture of CPVs outside Royal CourtGuernsey's Civil Protection Volunteers are sworn in as Special Constables

    On 23rd July Guernsey's Civil Protection Volunteers were sworn in as Special Constables at the Royal Court.

    This appointment will enable them to provide more effective support when called upon by the emergency services in the various capacities in which the Civil Protection Volunteers (CPVs) are utilised.

    The Guernsey Civil Protection Volunteers have been involved in several higher profile incidents over recent years, during which it was repeatedly identified that the team members were only able to offer advice to members of the public and to request their compliance with objectives. The granting of Special Constable status to the Guernsey Civil Protection Volunteers will see them able to able to utilise their supplementary legal powers to reinforce objectives laid down by Guernsey Police to protect individuals and their property.

    Dave Hodge, Civil Protection Officer (Designate) explained

    "On behalf of the Team, I am pleased that Guernsey Police have requested that Special Constable status be granted to Civil Protection. This will make our jobs that much easier to carry out when we are tasked by the emergency services to assist with incidents whether they are major or minor."

    The Guernsey Civil Protection Volunteers provide support to the emergency services and key responding agencies in the event of an emergency/major incident in the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

    The Guernsey Civil Protection Volunteers are equipped and trained by the Home Department under the guidance of the Emergency Planning and Civil Protection Officers. They train regularly with the emergency services and are frequently engaged to support the response to a wide variety of incidents.

    Contact:

    Dave Hodge (Civil Protection Officer (Designate))

    07781 148481

     

    (Photo: John Fitzgerald. L-R Andrew Innes (CP Coordinator), Joe Maloret (CP Coordinator), Dan Harvey (CP Coordinator), Graham Williams (CP Officer), Dave Hodge (CP Officer designate) and Phil Martin (Deputy CP Officer))

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