A British Fishing Policy Needed!
The destruction of Britain’s sea beds by foreign fishing fleets seemed about to stop until M. Barnier (French Minister for the internal market) scuppered a ban by blocking legislation on deep sea bottom trawling. Why ? He was “concerned about the impact such a ban would have on the economic and social livelihood of French fisheries “.
French and Spanish fleets are specifically mentioned in the ban. Both are heavily subsidised by the EU, a factor that, presumably, the French and Spanish Govts are happy with.
But after the backlash where he was roundly criticised for acting as a sales rep. for the French Fishing Industry, M. Barnier withdrew his objection. It now goes to The Council of Europe (not to be confused with the EU) where the French and Spanish intend to block it again.
A commission source, reported by Bojan Pancevski in The Sunday Times, said “they do this all the time and are not particularly subtle about it “.
The British Fishing Industry fights for survival, weighed down by quotas and a host of regulations. What subsidies do Newlyn or St. Ives fishing boats get ? Do they equate to a French or Spanish boat ? The recent convictions of Spanish fishermen at Truro Crown Court is, according to the South West Fisheries Producers Organisation, unlikely to stop intrusion by other countries fishing fleets.
Financial aid is available to the British fleet but must be matched funded. But British Govts are not known for a willingness to pay twice. The Spanish, before their accession, used a loop hole in UK law and registered as British, allowing them to fish on British quota.
Italy has a massive coastline with hundreds of small fishing villages. Do they get the 3rd degree as do UK small fleets ? But The Mediterranean is a zone with a completely separate management operating. Are we in “ a union “ or not ? Clearly not.
After massive campaigning from the fishing industry , the British Govt eventually (rather late in the day) took the EU on about this, but lost. No surprise there. Just a waste of time, money and effort. As long as we are subservient to the EU, we cannot protect our fish stocks.
We need a British fishing policy for the industry.
By Stuart Guppy
Last Updated (Friday, 10 August 2012 10:30)