Fishing for Leave Resumes The Fight

Fishing for Leave feels it necessary to resume campaigning due to recent developments or indeed the lack of them.

Vested interest throughout the political establishment, and sadly within the fishing industry, want to see as close to the status quo as possible for their own ideals and vested interests –  In other words to fudge Brexit.

Fishing for Leave was set up to highlight the potential of UK fisheries and ensure a brighter future for our industry by campaigning for a British withdrawal from the European Union.

As our purpose remains, we will continue to pursue that objective and fight for the whole industry to ensure that Brexit really is Brexit and the opportunity benefits everyone in the fishing industry.

“Fishing for Leave organised the Thames flotilla to highlight the plight of the fishing industry and to take it’s cry for a better future to the heart of government”

Fishing for Leave aims to give a voice to the whole UK fishing industry and did so on a decision so vitally important to its future survival when no other industry body was prepared to speak up.

Brexit creates a golden opportunity to regain 70% of the UK’s fisheries resources and rejuvenate a multi-billion pound industry for the nation, becoming as sustainable and successful as Norway, Iceland and Faroe.

“The EU CFP is an environmental and economic failure and EU quota rules have caused mass discarding of prime fish”

Fishing is one of Britain’s great natural resources and critical for the nation’s food security, however, it was regarded as “expendable” and control was surrendered in the rush to join the EEC.

Under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) of ‘equal access to a common resource’  other EU member states, under EU quota rules, acquired a 70% share of our nations fisheries resources to the detriment of the British industry and coastal communities.

That 60% of the UK fleet’s been scrapped, employment halved, communities destroyed and not a major fishing port is left between Plymouth and Peterhead is illustrative of the scale of decline.

The CFP is an environmental and economic failure and has created the scandal of discards created by quota rules unsuited to the UK’s mixed  catches of whitefish.  UK fishermen are being forced to discard upto 50% of their catch resulting in catching more to land less.

The discard ban merely addresses the symptom rather than the legislative cause of quotas and under the current quota regime will decimate what’s left of the UK fleet with low quota choke species.

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Brexit is a golden opportunity to rejuvenate UK fishing, dependent communities and a multi-billion pound industry”

Leaving the EU automatically restores UK control over the rich fishing resources of the UK EEZ out to 200nm/midline and all resources therein as per international law under UNCLOS III.”

Article 50 clearly states that ‘the treaties will cease to apply’ – resultantly the whole CFP will no longer be applicable- Britain will be able to manage our own fisheries.  All mechanisms of the CFP – equal access, historical rights, relative stability and quotas will also cease to apply.

That some industry leaders still talk of equal access, relative stability, quotas, and trading access for quota is deeply concerning.   The entirety of UK control and resources automatically return to Britain on withdrawal and we must implement our own policy.

There is nothing to trade and no relative stability- the resource becomes entirely ours. The industry can start afresh with a fit for purpose policy inclusive and to the benefit of all in the industry.

“Elements of the CFP which have decimated the industry should not be continued for short term interests.”

With some of the richest, prime fishing grounds in the world, the UK should aim to be as equally profitable and sustainable as the other Nordic coastal states.

Repatriation of national control and 70% of UK resources represents around £1.6 billion catch value and a multi-billion-pound industry that is currently being lost to the UK economy every year

Brexit provides a massive opportunity, to environmentally and economically rejuvenate British fishing, dependent coastal communities we must realise this potential and implement a fit-for-purpose UK policy, that is inclusive of and benefits the whole industry. One that addresses the quota cause of discards and the continual consolidation the industry has been forced into.

The CFP is unfit and unworkable, it has created a deliberate political construct of last man standing and it would be a cataclysmic waste, for political and vested industry interests convenience, to continue any element of the CFP into British law.

“It is critical to the future of the industry that we look to the long term vision of the next 40 years, not the next 4 for vested interests”.

EU membership and the CFP is not a natural state of affairs, although there is a minority who have sadly become institutionalised by the system.  It is our hope this golden opportunity isn’t missed by being blinkered by the continuation of the status quo.

The status quo is not a viable option for the long term health of the industry. To allow this to happen would be selling the fishing industry, communities and Brexit massively short.

Fishing epitomises UK enmeshment and will be the acid test of Brexit – therefore Fishing for Leave will continue to campaign vociferously and undaunted and will not falter in ensuring that Brexit really does mean Brexit.