THE FISH and the fishermen are both in trouble. To prevent a total collapse of fish stocks and the fishing industry, a drastic reduction in the European Community's (EC) fishing fleet has been proposed under the Sea Fish (Conservation) Bill. The critically low fish stock includes cod and haddock. The bill will enforce cuts of upto 30 per cent by restricting the number of days fishing vessels can spend at sea.
Over 3,000 fishermen from all over the UK protested the proposed bill, claiming it would make them bankrupt. A protester marched up to the prime minister's residence, carrying a crate of fish and a petition signed by 1,000 people, and said, "My opposition starts with my stomach."
The bill follows a report on the Common Fisheries Policy from the House of Lords select committee on the EC. The committee also recommends a phasing out, over 10 years, of the catching of fish for industrial use. It suggests the setting up of "closed boxes", or areas where fishing would be banned or restricted to protect spawning and juvenile fish.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.