Aldous speaks up for Lowestoft’s under-ten metre fishermen

Waveney MP Peter Aldous spoke in support of Lowestoft’s under-ten metre fishermen in a Debate on Fisheries in the House of Commons.

Aldous who has been campaigning since his election in May 2010 for a better deal for the under ten-metre fleet argued that at present the under-ten metre fleet is treated as a second-class citizen comprising 85 per cent of the national fleet, but with access to only 4 per cent of the UK quota.

He continued that the holding of fish quota should be transparent and in the hands of working fishermen.

Peter Aldous (Waveney) (Con): I had intended to talk about discards and the local management of fisheries, but as the points that I would have raised have been well made by other Members, I shall move quickly to my final point—securing a fair deal for the under-10s.

At present the under-10 metre fleet is treated poorly—as a second-class citizen comprising 85% of the national fleet, but with access to only 4% of the UK quota. The fleet needs to be enfranchised and we must move away from the current system of quota control that lacks flexibility and transparency. The Minister has commendably put forward proposals for the future management of English fisheries. He is right to attempt to do what most of his predecessors have put in the “too difficult to tackle” category. I commend him for introducing the pilot scheme that will operate from January.

However, there is a real concern that a rights-based method of control is not in the best interest for the under-10s. The problem is that there is no easily defined starting reference point on which to base a fair allocation for them. There is also the worry that globally there is evidence that rights-based systems do not work and quickly result in the loss of quota for the inshore sector. The evidence from Denmark is contradictory at best.

I commend Jerry Percy, now fishing in Wales but originally from Lowestoft in my constituency, for responding constructively to the consultation and coming forward with NUFTA’s—the New Under Tens Fishermen’s Association—proposals, which provide a way forward for the under-10s. The phrase, “If you can’t beat them, join them” springs to mind, but he is right to propose a dedicated inshore producer organisation.

I conclude by saying that there are three considerations on which the future management of domestic fisheries should be built. First, there must be recognition that quota is public property. Secondly, we must replace the current system whereby no one appears to know who holds quota with a transparent system—a register of holdings. Finally, quota should be only in the hands of working fishermen.

| Hansard

Surgeries

Peter holds regular surgeries at various locations in the constituency. Please call 01502 586568 to make an appointment.

Next Surgeries - 2018: 
Beccles, Saturday 14th April
Lowestoft, Thursday 31st May

 

Get Lowestoft Moving Campaign

 

A47 Alliance

Suppor the A47 Alliance

Download the report...

A47 Gateway to Growth

Your Local Councillors

Enter your Postcode below for details of all your elected representatives:

  

Lowestoft Transport Prospectus

Constituency Map

View Waveney in a larger map