Fishy Business

They tell us we’ve left the EU. They want us to think that we have left the EU. We are supposed to believe that we have left the EU.

Now try telling our fishermen how our fishing grounds are being protected from apparently unlimited incursions by vessels from France, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands, including large factory ships using the ‘pulse’ method of fishing, i.e. the indiscriminate large scale electrocution method, right up to our puny 6-mile limit.

We are entitled by international convention to establish a 200-mile zone, yet that outfit known as Defra stands meekly by and watches as our precious fish stocks are plundered to unprecedented and dangerously low levels. Unbelievably, our fishermen are still subject to quotas which are strictly enforced by Defra and which are for specific species of our own fish only.

As a result, not only do our crews now find themselves using very expensive fuel for which, shockingly, this government has specifically disallowed from receiving any concessions, they are obliged to sail through areas of good fishing of the ‘wrong’ species to those areas where their ‘quotas’ of fish can be found. They also face heavy penalties from our own Government for netting ‘wrong’ fish, or for being forced to discard them over the side, as per wasteful polluting EU regulations.

By now, we should have been well on the way to re-establishing our once-thriving fishing industry as befits our island status and needs. But instead, the Destroy Every Fishing Rig Afloat arm of this Government excels itself at applying overzealous myopic nit-picking all around our coasts.

Recently, our crews in Devon and Cornwall that have been hounded by officialdom to comply with nonsensical over-regulation have fortunately, but at considerable personal expense, been able to fight back through our curious legal system. This should never have been necessary if we had unequivocally left the EU as claimed by this government.

We can expect nothing better from a Labour administration, and as for the LibDems, just forget it.

So much for the Conservative version of our ‘independence’.

The UK Independence Party, however, has warned for a long time that our fishing interests were being sacrificed to curry favour with our ‘friends’ in the EU, but with friends like these, etc.

Sadly, our fisher folk are not alone. Notably our farmers and hauliers are also severely hindered in their own particular ways by having to comply with overburdening Government bureaucracy (designed to placate mainly the French), rather than fair and decisive action in our own interest.

The next general election should not be yet another two-horse race. Despite whatever contrary impression is being spread around by the usual suspects, the UK Independence Party is steadily gaining ground nationwide. The new Manifesto contains many practical and sensible ideas. It deserves a good read before the sneering starts.

Ivor Jones
Branch Representative
Bridgwater & West Somerset

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