South West fishermen are rightly enraged (as should all Britons) at the situation occurring yet again in the English Channel. The images below are more evidence of why Britain and our coastal communities need to be free of the EU asap.
The orange symbols upto the 6nm fishing limit are large French trawlers. Yet British vessels of a similar size are not allowed within 12nm of the coast.
How it is right that when the local, predominantly inshore fleet, is tied up these French trawlers are back yet again hammering our fishing grounds local family fishermen rely on?
This is a recurring theme all round Britain, with a wolf pack of Spanish and French vessels increasingly teaming up to shut off large areas of ground around Shetland.
Fishing out whole areas before landing million of pounds in Lerwick, Lochinver and Scrabster for consignment straight to the continent.
To rub more slat in the wounds the British fishing administrators in Marine Scotland and Marine Management Organisation (MMO) do little boarding or landing checks of these EU vessels.
Primarily as officials appear to be under political orders not to so as to avoid upsetting our EU partners.
This typically gutless political position is in stark contrast to the other Nordic nations who take a robust approach to foreign vessels licenced to fish their waters annually.
With a no non-sense approach to ensure their fleet is put first and that foreign vessels comply with these nations approach to husbanding their national resource for the benefit of generations of their own people to come.
To add insult to injury these French boats are catching bass which the British fleet cannot. The EU holds 90% of the channel Total Allowable Catches (TAC), whilst, with the Britain receiving only a paltry 10%.
Due to this British boat simply do not have the ability to catch enough tonnage of fish to keep any meaningful amount of bass using the 1% bye catch allowance.
This is forcing fishermen to discard 100s of tons of unavoidably caught bass dead and unrecorded whilst then having to exert more fishing effort (along with catching more bass) to find something they can keep.
This is yet another graphic example of why we need to take back control of our waters and 60% of the resources in British waters EU boats catch.
This is why we must have a complete overhaul of domestic policy with the freedom Brexit provides to move to discard free management.
Most importantly, EU vessels must be shut out British waters with only limited annual access granted for areas only outside 12nm and only where Britain receives an equal value of fishing opportunities in return – there needn’t be much reciprocity as the EU has little to offer Britain.
If this government fails to take back control and do no less than the above, then it will be a second sell out and we will continue to see local grounds pasted by EU boats only interested in a short term plunder.