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East Anglian group joins call for fishing policy to be controlled by UK

06:30 19 March 2012

An MEP for the East of England is calling for the country’s fishing policy to be brought back under national control.

East Anglian fishermen have to controversially dump dead fish into the North Sea due to the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, but as the issue comes under discussion once again, Geoffrey Van Orden is calling for the UK to take back control of the industry.

And the Anglia Fishermen’s Association are backing the move, saying that the current quota system does not work and is “antiquated”.

Melvin Robinson, a spokesman for the association, said: “This is not conservation, the fish are still killed and the fisherman bring home half a catch so they are dying too, it is lose-lose all around.”

He added: “We would like to see an end to the quotas and see them replaced with a system of effort limitation, which limits the numbers of days and hours you are at sea.”

Today Fisheries Ministers from across Europe are to meet to discuss the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, with MPs in the UK calling for the “one-off” opportunity to be taken to give greater powers to European Union countries to monitor their own fish stocks.

Mr Van Orden said: “Clearly, each country’s needs and problems are different. I pointed out to the European Commission that the solution to so many problems would be to return control of fisheries to our nations.”

He added: “I have always said that the Common Fisheries Policy was bad for our fish and bad for our fishermen. The European Commission has at last begun to recognise this.

“I pointed out that the East of England - and particularly Lowestoft - used to have a large and vibrant fishing industry. Sadly this is no longer the case.”

However, even though commissioner Maria Damanaki is backing a ban for discards, which would mean fishermen landing all fish they catch, some member states are believed to want them to continue the practice of dumping some back into the sea indefinitely.

In July it was announced it was announced that the European Commission intended to ban the 18 small fishing vessels based in Lowestoft, Southwold and Great Yarmouth from discarding fish as part of an effort to meet sustainable fishing targets.

The issue at the time was highlighted by Channel 4’s Fish Fight that estimated that 50pc of all fish caught in the North Sea are thrown back overboard dead because fishermen inadvertently catch more than their quota.

The discard ban will not impact on King’s Lynn, Cromer and Wells as the towns’ fleets are focused on catching crustaceans and shell fish.

4 comments

  • I don't think Nigel Farage knows much about fishing, nor cares! Overfishing was a problem long before the Common fisheries policy (CFP) The CFP was always a political football and I seem to recall has been used as a bargaining chip for many years. There have been enormous problems with such polices and specifically in regard to 'by-catch' and 'discard' of fish. Many of these issues are already being redressed by changes in EU policy. Once again the whole thing simply becomes a political toy which does nothing to help anyone protect the ecosystem.

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    Nick

    Monday, March 19, 2012

  • Do they dump dead fish?

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    Cuthbert J. Twillie

    Monday, March 19, 2012

  • So pleasing to see that a local MEP is doing something instead of like another that is content to just appear on TV and grin while baying how wonderful he thinks his EU is. Well done Mr G. Van Orden MEP.

    Report this comment

    Paul Platten

    Monday, March 19, 2012

  • Nigel Farage already said this during his visit to Great Yarmouth. As the Conservatives wish to stay in the EU, Mr Van Orden is just whistling in the wind.

    Report this comment

    matthewsmith

    Monday, March 19, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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