Waveney MP Peter Aldous today wrote to Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon as well as East of England MEP Vicky Ford to keep up pressure on the Government and European Politicians over much needed help for Lowestoft’s fishermen.
Aldous is campaigning on two fronts to obtain extra quota of key species for Lowestoft fishermen in the short term and on reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and system of discard in the medium to long term.
In his letter to Richard Benyon Mr Aldous points out that the extra quota achieved by the Minister at his meeting of the Council of Ministers in December is of limited help to Lowestoft fishermen. The 12 per cent additional North Sea cod quota is only open to Fisheries Producer Organisations (FPOs), of which the vast majority of Suffolk fishermen (all of whom are under 10 metre boats) are not members.
Aldous’ letter to Vicky Ford presses the East England MEP to ensure the reform of the current system of discard is top of her agenda.
Pressure coming from the British Government appears to be making an impact on EU officials with, EU Commissioner, Maria Damanaki proposing a ban on discards and a new time at sea system in the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in a speech made earlier in March in Brussels.
Mr Aldous has been campaigning since elected in May 2010 to achieve a fairer deal for Lowestoft’s fishermen. In December 2010 he led a delegation of Lowestoft Fishermen to meet Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon at The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and has spoken regularly on the topic in the House of Commons.
Mr Aldous said:
“Whilst it appears we are moving in the right direction towards reform whereby the scandalous system of discard is ended, Lowestoft fishermen need to be able to catch more of the right species of fish now. I will continue to press both the Minister and our MEPs for reform in order that our fishermen can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
View Waveney in a larger map