EU fishing ‘disaster’ attacked as MEP and warns of super trawlers plundering oceans
June Mummery delivered a rousing speech in the EU Parliament about the operation of super trawlers in British waters. The Brexit Party attacked the EU for allowing the operation of these boats, which pose a “significant threat” to wildlife species. Ms Mummery slammed the controversial Common Fisheries Policy as an “economic and environmental disaster”.
She said: “Can somebody please tell me why the EU is allowing super trawlers to operate in the English Channel and the Irish Sea?
“Ductch-owned super trawlers, which are up to 14 times the size of an average fishing boat, have already caused controversy in South America, been thrown out of Australian waters and contributed to massive over-fishing in west Africa.
“The fact is when it comes to managing our seas, it’s not just what you catch but what you kill.
“In the English Channel alone, super trawler by-catch threatens John Dory and blue fish tuna stock.”
Ms Mummery continued: “It also poses a significant threat to dolphins.
“But incredibly, these vessels have also been allowed to work within the English Channel sea bass hatcheries.
“Sea bass is a species under so much pressure.
“British fishermen are banned from catching it.”
The Brexit Party MEP added: “It is precisely this type of mismanagement that has made the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy an economic and environmental disaster.
“It’s time to learn the lessons of the past and ban the operation of super trawlers.
“The Africans don’t want them, the Australians don’t want them and neither do we.”
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The Common Fisheries Policy sets quotas for which member states are allowed to catch each type of fish.
The quota each member state receives is based largely on how much they fished in those areas in the 1970s.
It is deeply unpopular with the British fishing industry, and was one of the major tenets debated during the 2016 referendum.
Barrie Deas, the CEO of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, told Express.co.uk that we have a situation now where the EU fleets fish “about 6 times as much in UK waters as the UK fleet fishes in EU waters”.
He said: “That means that all the European fleets can fish in anybody’s waters, but the significance of that is the UK waters are pretty much where most of the fish are.”
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