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Friday, 5 July 2013

Briefing the Honourable Company of Fishmongers - Jim Portus SWFPO 2013



To read them and accept all at face value would damn the towed-gear fishing industry as rapists and pillagers. Indeed, this was a term used in all seriousness by one ex-leader of Natural England when, at a conference in London she described SW inshore trawlermen as such to an audience of academics!

There have also been many headlines and articles written about the share-out of British Fish Quotas and who “owns” them.

To quote Greenpeace last week, “The UK small-scale fleet makes up three quarters of the fishing vessels in our waters, and provides two thirds of jobs in the English fleet but gets a farcically tiny slice of the quota cake, just 4%. No, I haven’t missed out a number, I really do mean 4%. Over 95 per cent of the UK’s fishing quota is held by powerful fishing organisations, which represent larger, more destructive vessels and are often dominated by foreign interests that contribute little or nothing to the UK economy.”

What is the truth behind the headlines? The facts are far less controversial than Greenpeace would have you believe.