Newlyn Fish Market - boats due to land.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Fisheries minister George Eustace to meet Cornish fishermen today

Greenpeace volunteers and Cornish fishermen will be meeting George Eustice on Saturday morning at his constituency office to express their concern over the "unfair fishing quota system". They are handing in a petition from over 2,000 people from or near his constituency of Camborne, Redruth and Hale.

The petition signatures were gathered over three weekends on Camborne High Street. The petition is calling on George Eustice, who is also the Fisheries Minister, to overhaul the fishing quota system. The signatories are demanding that George Eustice changes the way that quota is allocated so that more is given to local, sustainable fishermen, who "protect the marine environment and make a real contribution to the Cornish economy".

George Eustice will be met by a constituent and Cornish fishermen who are struggling to make a living because they are not given enough fishing quota.

After the meeting, they will present the signatures gathered from his constituents in two ‘captain’s log’ books surrounded by a colourful banner, fishy figures and sea shanties will be sung by a local band.

Nina Schrank, Oceans Campaigner at Greenpeace said: “There is new European fisheries legislation that is designed to reward sustainable fishermen; it’s a golden opportunity that the government must not miss. If implemented properly, it will boost fish stocks, bolster home-grown sustainable fishing and breathe new life into our coastal communities up and down the country.

"It’s time stop destructive, foreign owned vessels hoovering up fish stocks while lining their pockets with the sale of fish caught from our shores. The reform of this legislation was not won easily, now it’s up to the government to turn it into a reality here in Cornwall and along the UK’s coasts.”

Greenpeace's new campaign, ‘Our Net Gain’, which launched a month ago, is urging the government to reclaim fishing quota for local, low impact fishermen in the UK. Greenpeace carried out an investigation revealing that 43% of England’s fishing quota is held by foreign controlled, fishing businesses.[

It also exposed the high concentration of quota in the hands of a few industrial fishing companies:

• Five largest foreign controlled vessels hold 32 per cent of the English quota

• One Dutch-controlled vessel holds 23 per cent of the English quota

• The small scale fleet in England has just 6 per cent of the UK’s quota[ii]

Full story courtesy of the Falmouth Packet: