Waveney MP Peter Aldous has met with Suffolk fisherman to hear the dire situation they face where if they cannot catch more fish they may go out of business.
Following the meeting Mr Aldous has written to Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon urging him to do all he can to address the situation.
“The situation is very serious and it is a tragedy that we have reached a point where an industry that has existed on the Suffolk coast for centuries is now fighting for its very survival. The inshore and ten metre fleet that fish along the Suffolk coast should have a long-term future. They fish in a sustainable way that ensures that the responsible management of fisheries.”
The fisherman provided Mr Aldous with details of a proposed scheme for the under ten metre vessels operating on the Eastern Sea Fisheries District, which he has sent to the Minister for his consideration.
“The fundamental problem that fisherman face is two-fold. Firstly the system for controlling fish stocks does not work and promotes the obscene practice of discard (throwing overboard) dead fish that were possibly healthy and cannot be landed). Secondly the inshore fleet does not have enough quotas. Not only has Britain got a poor deal in terms of the quota it receives in comparison to other EU countries , but the quota is allocated unfairly between the under ten metre fleet and large trawlers.”
78% of the British fishing fleet are 10 metres and under yet they only receive 2 per cent of the UK’s total quota.
Much of the quota does not reach local fisherman as it is used as a tradeable commodity by investors, known as ‘slipper skippers’ and rented out.
“The review of the CFP in 2012 provides the opportunity to address the situation that will hopefully ensure that Suffolk fisherman have a sustainable future, at present it is in the balance as to whether they will be around to benefit from this. They deserve better and I shall do what I can to secure them a sensible deal both in the short-term and in the long-term.”
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