British Fishermen were enraged on social media as examples of the marauding fleet of EU boats fishing in British waters were, yet again, observed on the Marine Traffic website.
Fishing for Leave echoed this anger on behalf of many of its members who say they are “sick to the back teeth of EU boats fishing British waters day in and day out with the lion’s share of the quotas as they’re stuck ashore from lack of it”.
With another fisherman adding “Throughout the year, there’s always twice the number of EU boats off Cornwall, Kent, the Hebrides and around Shetland than British boats”.
British Fishermen say the pictures above are yet another shameful example of the CFP giving unfettered access for EU boats to fish Britain’s waters! The local Cornish fleet is ashore for weather, yet a fleet of bigger French boats scrape the local Cornish grounds! A repeat of the daily pillage. Fishing for Leave says this must end!
Aaron Brown of FFL said: “In the English Channel and the southern North Sea the EU fleet has 90% of the Haddock, Whiting and Cod quota that French trawlers target. They are always in the British sector because, although the EU has a ridiculous majority of the quota, the majority of catches of all these species are in British waters. That is why EU fishermen are full of anger, tears, snotters and self-pity – we have the resources, but they fiddled the EU Relative Stability Quotas to claim these grossly inflated shares.
The EU also has 90% of North Sea and Channel Herring and Horse Mackerel quota that the big super trawlers (that have caused public outrage and whose parent companies are nearly all Dutch) target all along the British coast.
To add insult to injury, of the meager quota share the UK does get, half of it is in EU owned but UK registered ‘Flagships’ hands – these foreign-owned and named boats can readily be observed fishing around Britain under the British flag.
These big EU Flagship companies were forced upon the UK by the European Court of Justice overruling the Thatcher government’s 1988 Economic Link conditions. These aimed to stop Flagships buying out British family fishermen who were left heartbroken at having little option but to sell up due to Britain having so little of the quota under EU Relative Stability shares.
Fishing for Leave and fishermen throughout the country that we represent have a simple message – Get them out Boris Johnson!
The UK has officially left the EU but has re-obeyed all EU laws (including the CFP) for the 11-month transition period. At the end of this Britain will be officially an independent coastal state, but fishermen worry this will be in name only with Britain still closely aligned to mimicking CFP rules under “level playing field provisions” and the government having caved to EU demands to roll over the current unlimited equal access and quota shares.
Boris Johnson has continually said that fishing “won’t be traded away” and that to do so would be “reprehensible”. However, what’s the reference point to define if fishing is traded away – meekly rolling over to no change of the status quo? The government might think the status quo can be spun as not trading away, but that won’t wash with the public or industry.
For Fishing for Leave, it is simple – at the end of the Transition, the CFP and its exploitationary quota shares cease to apply. At that instant Britain reverts to international law that confers exclusive sovereignty over all our waters and resources within our EEZ.
We instantly see a repatriation of our rightful share of resources under the international principle of Zonal Attachment – where nations have quota shares based on the predominance of species in their waters. The EU has to cut its cloth to reflect the loss of UK waters from the common pot to comply with international law requirements for a nation to fish its available waters and resources sustainably.
The EU cannot go on expecting 90% of the channel quota when it only has 50% of the waters. Even more pertinently, how can the EU argue for any continuation of having half the quotas off the West Coast of Scotland? How can they argue that is shared waters?
The government MUST make it a condition that ANY deal on limited annual access to British waters is predicated on the EU recognising Britain’s rightful and fair Zonal Attachment share of quotas. Then any access must ONLY be granted when the UK receives a reciprocal value of fishing opportunities in return!
Fishing for Leave were uncompromising to complaints made to them by EU fishermen, that they were merely doing what is legal, fishing close to Britain for shelter, and that the British government implemented a domestic allocation of quota that saw the consolidation of quota into a few big companies hands.
With FFL replying to them, “We don’t give a monkey about their excuses on weather – you fish close to Britain all year whether it is wind rain or shine out there”.
“If you don’t like bad weather, why are a fleet of you off the NW of Scotland?”
“No one’s arguing successive governments buggered domestic allocations with an FQA system that has driven consolidation to a few big companies – many of them EU Flagships.”
“What the average British fisherman are sick of is an EU fleet rampaging in our waters catching 60% of the stocks in our waters whilst having grossly inflated quotas because EU fishermen cheated and fiddled the books when Relative Stability was set up in the 1980s.”
“Justice is coming – when you will lose what you stole through fiddling Relative Stability. The whole lot of you on the continent built an EU industry on the back of a rigged CFP and the ability it gave to rape our waters.”
“The free lunch is over and the whole lot of you will need to get having to cut your cloth and fleet to reflect what is in your own waters – just as Britain’s distant water fleet on Humberside had to do when Iceland and Norway took control of their waters post-Cod War.”
“The half of you can go to the Danish scrapyards to have your boats cut up like we had to do to make way for you all. Then maybe they’ll know the pain and suffering we all had to go through to make way for you lot to have an industry built on our nation’s resources when all the EU has is a puddle.”
“It’s Tough. Welcome to re-balancing to international normality rather than the asset stripping of a nation which caused the collapse of our communities and generations of fishing heritage.”