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EU Common Fishery Policy quotas

Comment 13th July 2010

Bring an end to the lunacy of the current EU Common Fishery Policy quotas that do the very opposite of what they originally set out to achieve.

This will not happen until such time as the Commission, its advisers and those policing its policies get it into their tiny minds that there can be no conservation whilst we continue to return large quantities of perfectly healthy but unwanted or immature fish to the sea – dead.

A quota regime that totally ignores in its calculations that portion of the catch that is discarded has no place in a conservation policy. It is high time that any controls were based on the entire catch and not just on the landed portion.

Other than EU politicians, who will defend their beloved quota until the seas dry up, this failing is universally recognised especially by fishermen themselves.

What is surely needed is a quota based on catches not landings, a requirement to land the entire catch, a system that will allow governments to make local decisions to ban fishing in areas from which large volumes of immature fish are being taken and an increase in net mesh size if appropriate.

(I don't know how this diktat is integrated into British law – presumably it's there somewhere!)

Why does this matter?

Dead fish can't breed and multiply – how does killing fish to keep to a quota help the conservation of stocks?

Britain should have control over its own waters. We must have the ability to police what, how and where fishing is conducted in British waters.

The livelihoods of our fishing communities are threatened, our fish stocks (both mature and immature) are being pillaged and we have no control – that's not right.

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