It’s very difficult to be optimistic about the UK’s fishing future at this moment. The Tory government insist we will become an independent coastal state and make our own rules, but why should we believe them? We have been lied to so many times and now with the Withdrawal Agreement it’s beginning to look like another stitch up.

Our fishing leaders in the form of the SFF and delegates from Scottish producer organisations have backed this terrible deal and conceded to a longer transition period, why?

Perhaps a better deal was promised, and more time needed to work things out, but I feel giving the government slack will give them enough rope to hang us.

The SFF tell us under the Withdrawal Agreement no specific deal on fishing has yet been made, and that things will be sorted out and stand us in better stead, but what makes them so sure of that?

I feel bitterly disappointed that it looks like yet again the fishermen will be let down, not only by the government but by our representatives too.

I don’t think anyone thinks we will get everything our own way, but what is it we need from Brexit?

We need to get away from the disastrous CFP not only in name but in fullness and create a better, more predictable industry on which to move forward.

But the Withdrawal Agreement sets us up for another 4 years of the CFP and then the EU demands that we continue with the same access and quota shares.

Not knowing what lies ahead may be part of every business but non more so than fishing.
With people in charge who may think they have a great plan, but actually do not realise what damage they are doing has gone on far too long.

The best example is the discard ban. It is utterly impossible to work around achieving no discards with the current quotas but the Discard ban been hailed a huge success in Brussels.

We need to stop the dumping of dead fish back into the sea! We need either a bigger share of what should rightfully be British quotas or another system of management to enable us to do this.

We  also need to stop the extortionate trade in quota, an utterly despicable practise.

For anyone who has been hoodwinked by Theresa Mays Withdrawal deal here is part of a post on Facebook a friend of mine posted. It struck me how apt this is for us right now.

“when the Icelandic cod wars were being played out in the 60s and 70s there were no doubt people in Iceland who thought this was crazy. After all who was going to buy their fish once they had thrown everyone out of their waters. But they fought for their waters and win they did, this caused entire fleets from several countries to go out of business, but for Iceland it was a huge success. Maybe not straight away, but soon enough they found their evictees were their best customers and trade links were made, they were right to fight for the management of their waters”

There are some who chose to believe the hollow promises by the Tory government, all I can say is I hope you are right but I fear they are buying time to appease the EU, and figure out how to sell us a poor deal.

It appears our fishing representatives don’t want to rock the boat too much, perhaps they want to continue collecting their salary and not make too much fuss? After all they aren’t the ones dumping fish, they don’t have large loans to pay, no families depending on their wages except their own so why should they be more passionate?

We need a firmer stand, for years we have tried being diplomatic and it’s got us nowhere.

In the past, prior to Brexit, Mike park and Ian Gatt were pro-EU. Stay with the CFP and we can reform from within it they said. Don’t listen to those from Save Britain’s Fish they said. We need to stay in the CFP. Why now is it them that are leading us out of the EU and them who have backed Theresa May’s deal that is blatantly set up to be Brexit In Name Only?

Call me cynical but does this sound wrong to anyone else?

Gary Smith – Devotion LK 801