Fishing for Leave met Secretary of State Michael Gove again when he accepted the invitation to spend a full day in North Shields for a port visit and presentation on future sustainable management under a Days-at-Sea system.
He visited a local trawler just returned with a catch of whitings and Mr Gove witnessed the abhorrent situation where the prime fish had to be discarded in order to comply with current CFP quota rules seeing first-hand how unfit current management is.
This graphically illustrated the ecological and financial damage done to the fishing industry by the CFP. For years fisherman have been trying to highlight to politicians how damaging the system of Quotas, discarding and a ban that would force the UK fleet to tie up when it exhausts its lowest quota is – the severity of which is not often understood.
Fishing for Leave presented a comprehensive management policy of Days-at-Sea and Mr Gove listened intently to FFLs proposal.
That by allowing vessels to keep what they catch in exchange for a limit of time at sea, rather than catching and discarding dead fish to match a quota, it would end the problem of discards as vessels could catch less but land all catches, improving sustainability.
Days at Sea would provide an ecologically sound alternative of world leading management which works with and accepts the natural fluctuations, responding to real time information rather than impose arbitrary species targets based on a paucity of data that generates discards.
With the supporting technology, this would provide real time accurate science and management and a world leading system of sustainable management for the government to implement to fulfill Brexit.
Mr Gove’s visit highlighted to him the true abhorrence of discarding and quotas and that there is an alternative to the dysfunctional CFP that solves all the problems by ending discards, improving viability, sustainability and delivering a new fisheries policy that will make Britain a world leader.
We thank the Secretary of State for his time and we look forward to continuing to work with the Secretary of State, Defra and all other interest groups in developing the only credible alternative to ensure that the acid test of Brexit becomes a beacon of success for all parties concerned and that the disastrous status quo is not continued.