Ban On Pulse Fishing Post Brexit Must Be Honoured
& The Start Of Other Fundamental Reforms
The EU allowing pulse fishing against its own rules typifies why we need Brexit and why the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) has been and environmental, economic and social disaster.
FFL are delighted our and others countless efforts have succeeded in the pulse issue being addressed. Peter Aldous MP for Lowestoft deserves every praise for his efforts on the issue.
The governments commendable pledge to ban abhorrent Electric Pulse Fishing in British waters post-Brexit MUST be fulfilled by Michael Gove and DEFRA.
Doing so will bring real environmental benefit and shows leaving the EU can be used to deliver real improvements.
There are other issues the government MUST take advantage of the Fisheries Bill to legislate on;
1) The government must also ban the equally bad EU industrial Sand-eel fishing. Where hundreds of thousands of tons of vital feeding is taken for Danish pig feed.
2) The EUs Quota system forces fishermen to discard upto half their catch, and then catch even more, to find the species they are allowed to keep. The government must use the freedom of Brexit to move to discard free policy. Limiting hours of fishing time at sea in return for being able to land and record all catches.
This would end discarding and give accurate data. Allowing fleet footed management in-line with nature. The government must legislate to trial and implement such a system and mustn’t heed vested interests in the Quota system – many close allies with the Dutch.
3) The government must legislate to repatriate our resources as per international law. Not only has the EUs allowed environmental degradation of our waters, in the southern North Sea EU states hold 90% of the Total Allowable Catches (TACs).
Under international law & the principle of ‘Zonal Attachment’ a nation is entitled to a TAC share based on the predominance of fish in its waters. In the Southern North Sea Britain should have a 60% share. Worth approximately £2 billion processed value to South East coastal communities previously ravaged by the CFP.
4) The government must tighten the ‘Economic Link’ conditions which determine and regulate what constitutes a British fishing vessel. Similar to Mrs Thatcher’s government proposed in the Merchant Shipping Act 1988, which was over-ruled by the ECJ – a British fishing vessel must be 60% British owned, 60% British crewed and land, sell and process 60% of its catch in Britain.
5) Legislate to ban shore based ‘Slipper Skipper’ quota renters who are bleeding 60% of the profit from hard working active fishermen who are forced to lease entitlement to fish that’s been gobbled up by Skipper Skippers. As in Norway all fishing entitlement must be held on an active vessel within two years.
6) Importantly, the government must legislate to ban EU boats from fishing British waters unless the EU can swap Britain an equal value of fishing opportunities.
Any foreign boats issued a temporary annual or seasonal license must land all catches from British waters into a British port to ensure compliance and economic benefit from British resources to this nation.
7) Most Importantly, the government must legislate that the half of Britain’s fisheries resources that can (and must) be rightfully repatriated under the terms of international law are distributed equally to all fishermen and communities.
These resources must be allocated outside the current disastrous British Fixed Quota Allocation (FQA) entitlement system which has facilitated monopolization to a few companies. Through a race to the bottom of economically illiterate prices being paid to secure FQA entitlement .
National resources must be fairly distributed to all large and small as, even if all the above points were enacted, without the raw materials we will fail to seize this momentous chance to rejuvenate our coastal communities.
Fishing for Leave, and the thousands of fishermen and folk in dependent coastal communities supporting us, won’t quit until all the above are delivered.