The first letter, by Mike Hookem MEP, draws attention to the relentless destruction of our fishing grounds even after Brexit, because the CFP is still not taken out of May’s ‘Great Repeal Bill’:
MEPs had two chances to ban the outrageous practice of electro-pulse fishing, that is blamed for laying waste to fishing grounds off the South-East coast of England, but chose instead to support Dutch fishing.
MEP’s were asked to vote on two amendments to the Common Fisheries Policy (AM 614 & 615), which sought to outlaw electro-pulse fishing.
‘Pulse’ fishing is a form of beam trawling that trails electrodes along the seabed to send electric pulses through the sediment to capture the flatfish that live in it. However, the controversial practice – already banned in China – has been blamed by fishermen for damaging non-target fish stocks, wiping out gastropods, and breaking the backs of cod.
Research seen by some fishermen also suggests that electro-pulse fishing could be causing tumours in some fish species. However, this information is not currently available in the public domain.
One South-East fisherman, Paul Lines – who has seen the research – said: “When we fish outside of the 12-nautical-mile (NM) zone, it’s a desert! Everything is gone, there are no gastropods left. It’s all been wiped out and going beyond the 12 NM zone is a waste of time.”
Regarding the votes not to outlaw ‘pulse’ fishing in British waters: fishing with explosives, poisons or electric is outlawed under European law. However, an experimental licence to use this method was granted to Dutch fishermen in 2007.
Under the terms of that licence, no more than 5% of the Dutch beam trawling fleet should have been converted to pulse fishing, which in 2007, would have amounted to 22 vessels. However, despite a reduction in the number of Dutch beam trawlers in the last ten years, there are now 84 vessels operating pulse systems, mainly in British waters.
In my view, the conversion of these trawlers is in direct contravention of the terms of the experimental licence, yet no sanction from the EU has been forthcoming.
I also believe the practice of ‘pulse’ fishing to be in contravention of EU commitments to end destructive fishing practices by 2020.
Fishers around England’s South-East coast tell me that much of their traditional catch has simply disappeared since the introduction of this fishing method, as it is not only killing fish species like cod, it is also exterminating the ecosystem they rely upon.
While much of the Dutch ‘pulse’ fishing operation takes place in British waters, little research has been dedicated to it in the UK. Instead, we have to rely on Dutch research – sponsored by their powerful fishing lobby – which seems to promote the benefits of pulse fishing without looking into the negatives.
This situation has left many fishermen in areas such as Lowestoft and Ramsgate facing bankruptcy as their traditional catches have all but disappeared.
The fact is, the practice of ‘pulse’ fishing must be stopped before it lays waste to any more of Britain’s fishing grounds and forces more businesses into bankruptcy.
That is why I am now exploring the option of launching an official complaint against the Dutch in regard to this matter.
For me, the situation with the Dutch fleet eradicating large areas of Britain’s traditional fishing grounds, is a prime example of why we need to leave the CFP, reclaim our fishing grounds, and implement our own rules in our own waters.
But despite our vote to leave the EU, the rules surrounding electro-pulse fishing are included in the same technical measures that fisheries minister, George Eustice MP, recently announced to Parliament that the Government would be keeping under Theresa May’s so-called Repeal Bill!
As far as I’m concerned, the sooner we reclaim our waters and make a clean break from the CFP, the better. The fishing industry must be removed from the Great Repeal Bill and be treated as a standalone entity in the post- Brexit era.
Respectfully, Mike Hookem MEP
Funny how our MSM and animal-loving remoaners are so oblivious to this …
Next, another coruscating letter from our correspondent Septimus Octavius, this time on Ireland:
for some reason I completely fail to understand, one of the three “prerequisites” the EU seeks to impose before “trade talks” can commence is that the UK comes up with a solution to the “problem” of the Irish border.
There is no problem! The “solution” is childishly simple. The UK needs only to notify the EU that there will be absolutely no change whatsoever to the seamless, frictionless, free trade operation of the border which exists at present. This is the principle of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. There is no possible reason why anyone on the island of Ireland could object to that, and how could anyone on the EU side argue with it, however irrational and arrogant they are?
The beauty of this is that Eire will remain hook line and sinker trapped in the EU post-Brexit, and as such will be well and truly imprisoned by all the strict rules of the single market and the customs union. As such it will be absolutely forbidden from having any trade deal with the outside world which is not wholly common with the entire EU.
Eire thus provides the key to unlocking the door to the “trade talks”, because there will be nothing to talk about! If the UK was not a member of the EU, and was seeking a trade deal with the EU, of course the process would be messy, tortuous, and never-ending. However, that is patently not the case. An excellent trade deal already exists between the UK and the EU, and of course the Eire “solution” would ensure that this trade deal also will remain wholly unchanged post-Brexit. It is that very same principle of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” writ large. As it happens, of course, for the EU, it also pulls the rug from under their feet with regard to their current attempt to blackmail the UK. This is why I am at a loss to understand why the EU has insisted that the Irish border issue is a “prerequisite”, when in fact it is a deal clincher.
Curiously, Michel Barnier does appear to be one person who twigged this trap the EU were laying for themselves. When it first emerged a couple of months or so ago, he came out with the odd comment that Eire could not be used as a “test case”. What he was saying, in effect, was that Eire was not “one of the 27”, which is simply not true. The phrase “clutching at straws” comes to mind, but here there weren’t even any straws to clutch at. More to the point, however, no change to the free trade arrangement is exactly what everyone actually wants!
Add this to the fact that no deal means no “divorce bill”, and the UK has a golden path to a satisfactory agreement laid out before it, holding all the aces.
Respectfully, Septimus Octavius
Finally, an appeal by the -new- Membership Secretary of the Mid Sussex Branch. Any information – either here on UKIP Daily as comment post, or in a private email to firstname.lastname@example.org (which I’ll forward without the sender’s email address) will be extremely welcome, especially since many other branches would profit hugely from such exchange of information:
I have been to the top, no luck there, now I have come to the bottom. Has anybody got any suggestions or practical ideas on how to gather in some new members, preferably the age group that Mr Corbyn is chasing around our colleges? I have just taken on the job and would appreciate any helpful thoughts you may have!
Respectfully, Barry Noldart,
Membership Secretary, Mid Sussex Branch