UK COURT: MINISTER CAN REALLOCATE UNUSED FISH QUOTAS
Britain's high court ruled last week that the government can favor small vessels when redistributing fishing quotas. Small fisherman fought for the government to reallocate unused or underused permits given to large trawlers, saying that smaller ships provide more jobs and are more environmentally friendly than large vessels. It is unclear how broadly the ruling applies, however, because the court only considered unused quotas, which only represent a small fraction of UK's total. Ministers attempting to reallocate quotas in use would likely face additional legal challenges. However, the judge made clear that no industry group had the right to a quota. "The outcome of this court case vindicates the decision I took to reallocate consistently underutilized quota from larger fishing boats to smaller ones who could use it," said the fisheries minister. "I will continue to take action to maximize the value of the UK's fishing quotas and I look forward to working with all parts of the industry to determine the best way we can do this." For the full story, see http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jul/10/fishing-quotas-smaller-vessels-court.