Having now scrutinized the Fisheries Bill fully in detail, Fishing for Leave publish a paper in response. This gives a summary of our main points of concern which MPs need to be aware of and address.

Remedial action through amendments is vital if we are to realise a stable UK policy which delivers on the governments Fisheries White Paper objectives.

The guiding principle and aspiration we all want to see delivered in a suitable manner – namely sustainable fisheries management which delivers maximum economic and social benefit to British communities for generations to come, whilst fulfilling our UNCLOS obligations as an independent coastal state.

The Fisheries White paper, which set out and committed the government to a course, had many objectives that pleased and gave hope to many in the industry.

Both DEFRA officials and Ministers have stated their commitment to the White paper objectives but disconcertingly many of these are not catered for legislatively in the bill. We question if there was a true commitment to them why not include rather than omit them?

On the past 2 years performance it has been proven that promises and commitments are of scant worth.

We therefore insist that many of the following remedial amendments are included. To ensure there is a legislative and statutory requirement to follow through on the course and commitments that were laid out in the government’s own Fisheries White Paper so they cannot be easily abandoned.

Fishing for Leaves White paper response noted that some of what was written appeared to be contradictory with other sections (i.e. auctioning repatriated resources vs it being a national resource for public benefit and good).

The government has solved this by keeping the bad (auctioning resources) and squandering the good (ensuring a national resource is utilized for public benefit and good).

We are also concerned by advocacy of retention of policies that will never work. Such as the proposed system of allocating resources which cannot be sold for profit to cover for species that would need to be discarded to comply with quota rules. This is felt by our members and others as an ill-founded, ineffectual non-starter.

What follows in the document below details the flaws and necessary amendments that need to be addressed if we are to achieve implementation of new, bespoke policy to achieve the proof of the pudding that we believe industry, government, Ngos and importantly the public want to see.

Environmentally applicable sustainable management to allow this British industry and its dependent coastal communities to rejuvenate and thrive through facilitating a broad range of economic diversity where all fishermen and communities around these islands can prosper for generations to come.

It is vital that government now, for the first time, listens to the practical experience of those at the coal face with unrivaled operational and biological knowledge and does not pander to status-quo convenience, a few big flagship and quota holding interests or virtue signalling.


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