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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

The destruction of another historic United Kingdom industry.


This is not about the price of Fish and Chips.

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We have fishing boats in mothballs for many years or broken up for scrap. We have men from the fishing ports of Grimsby, Hull, Fleetwood, Whitby and a hundred other ports around the country who used to fish the waters around the UK, but who now stack shelves in Tesco or draw unemployment benefits. Our fishing industry has been systematically destroyed, not in the name of conservation, but to meet "quota's" imposed by European bureaucrats who no nothing about fishing but much about regulation. Regulations, which in any case have historically been ignored by French fishermen and other European partners, with no visible sanctions taken against them. In the meantime, the "regulations" have enforced the grotesque "policy" of throwing Cod, Haddock and other fish back into the sea for no other reason other than the quota had been exceeded.

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Seagulls follow a fishing boat to pick up fish thrown back into the sea
An outrageous and extravagant waste of food resources, at a time when people in the United Kingdom rely on charities and Food-banks for their next meal. This is not about the price of Fish and Chips. It is about the wanton destruction of an industry which has been part of the British way of life for a thousand or more years. It is about the societies where outside regulation has shattered the lives of fishermen, their families and those industries indirectly reliant on the fishing industry. No where else in the world is there an island nation with no thriving fishing industry, nor has there ever been.
Of course, there is always the question of conservation of fish stocks and we must always be mindful of the consequences of over fishing. However, as the United Kingdom has no real fishing potential as more and more boats are scrapped and those that remain are handicapped by the quota system, we must draw the conclusion that "over fishing" is the consequence of actions by others.
The politics of Europe and successive United Kingdom governments, have destroyed another historic British industry and we have allowed this to happen. Forget the price of a large cod and chips and think instead of a once thriving industry, which is now but a shadow of its former self. Think also of societies where the decline of the fishing industry has condemned thousands to a life on benefits both for this generation and many to come.
The steel industry has been destroyed as has the coal industry. We still have time to save the fishing industry, provided of course that we have the will to do it.