Fishy dilemma

Published: Saturday 15 June 1996

IN A bid to wade out of troubled waters, the UK is throwing a bait to its fisherfolk. If they agree to scrap vessels and stop fishing, they will pocket a sum of us $19.8 million. The move follows the recent, European Union conference on setting fishing quotas. If the UK fails to cut down 19 per cent of its fishing fleet, then it faces punitive measures by the European Commission at the end of the year. But the fisherfolk's lobby is blaming the excess fleet on foreign ships buying British licences in order to gain access to UK fish quotas. "Other member states are exporting their over-capacity to us," said Barrie Deas, chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermens' Organisations.

If the fisherfolks fail to reduce their fleet capacity then they will not get the benefits Of EU'S US $1.66 billion scheme for restructuring and modernising fleets. Under the scheme, EU will provide grants of up to 50 per cent of the cost of updating fishing vessels.

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