Saturday, 25 April 2015

Hastings and Rye: Fishing for a fair deal? - Fined £5,000 for a box of fish

Fish have become the prop of choice in this election. Nick Clegg posed with a cod in Cornwall, Boris Johnson and Ed Miliband were snapped in chippies, while Nigel Farage visited Grimsby docks. But in many traditional coastal fishing communities, the industry is facing collapse. Fishermen with smaller boats complain the current fish quotas are weighted heavily in favour of large corporations and they aren't allowed to catch enough to survive. All the parties accept the quota given to the 'inshore fishermen' needs to change.

As part of our visits to 100 constituencies, Claire Marshall reports from the marginal seat of Hastings and Rye.

Paul Joy has been fishing for forty years and is chairman of the Hastings fisherman’s protection society. He told Today: “my cod quota at the moment is 1.4 kilo a day. Now I’ve got three people that go to sea on my vessel and one who helps on the shore, so four people can derive a living from half a fish”.

Mr Joy added: “the enforcement is very rigid.. I had half a box of fish too much and got fined £5,000… they’re literally putting you out of business”.

Will McCallum is from Greenpeace and also believes the quotas should be changed: “small boats should be right at the very front (of the quota allocation). They’re the ones that fish sustainably, they’re the ones that provide jobs in coastal towns and they boost the local economy and they deserve to have their fair share of the quota”.

Courtesy of the BBC.