Constituents in the South-East especially those whose livelihoods depends on the fishing industry will be delighted to learn of our recent success in negotiating a deal on the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) which will ensure a better future for our fishing communities.
Reform has been long overdue; and, in the early hours of the morning last week, the Conservatives led the European Parliament to agree to break the catastrophic cycle of micro-management from Brussels which has bedevilled our fisheries sector for decades.
The old quota system forced fishermen to discard significant amounts of edible fish annually back into the sea. Under this new agreement dumping and discards will be banned from 1 January 2015, instead a sensible, rational approach is to be adopted, encouraging the avoidance of by-catch and giving alternative options for that which cannot be avoided.
The new agreement also ensures long-term sustainability of our fish stocks by using ‘maximum sustainable yields’. This is the surest way of rebuilding fish stocks in British waters.
Finally, management of British fishing will be brought home. The day-to-day management of fisheries will be devolved back to the Member States, who can in turn devolve responsibility to Producer Organisations so that the local fishermen and stakeholders are directly involved.
This means power moving back to the UK to manage our waters and overall a better deal for British fisherman.