WHY THE COMMON FISHERIES POLICY HAS BEEN SUCH A DISASTER

The political will is towards the creation of one unit, as part of the EU super State, and a super fishing zone.Outside the 6 or 12 mile limits, the EU fishing fleet from 2003, will be run by the Commission, through the Member State, via a centralised EU permit system, as to when, where, what, and how each vessel can fish. Within each Member States 6 or 12 mile limits the fleet will become a cottage industry for that region of the EU provided this derogation is not removed post 2002.

In the latter half of the eighties, the British industry highlighted the horrendous problem of discarding which could often exceed the amount landed. Initially Ministers denied these figures, but today they are accepted, and were confirmed by the EU Commission's 1992 Report.

Discarding takes two forms:

Prime fish of breeding size

When these are caught as part of a mixture of species, they will require to be dumped if the vessel has insufficient quota for that species.

In the case of British vessels this amounts yearly to approximately 45 million Coley (saithe), which causes a stinking rotten mess on the sea-bed. If these fish are not dumped, but landed, this is known as Black Fish, and is illegal, with fines of up to £50,000.

It is the EU's intention to clamp down on Black fish, so it is possible up to 30 million prime Cod, along with an unknown quantity of other fish, all prime breeding sizes, will now be dumped dead, causing further pollution.

Juveniles

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food stated that: "The large majority of fish discarded by fishermen are small and of low or no commercial value."

Yet at the Council of Ministers meeting of 30th October 1997, Britain voted with all Member States, except Denmark, to reduce the Minimum Size one is allowed to land of three species:- Hake, Plaice, and Megrim, to well below breeding size. The British Government gave the reason for this reduction in size as: But this recognises the fact that it is wasteful to require discarding of fish which are marketable and which in practice are caught as part of a mixture of species.

In the "so-called" name of conservation, the EU on the one hand has legalised the catching and marketing of juvenile fish well below breeding size, which on paper reduces the discard figure, but on the other hand and at the same time has clamped down on "Black Fish" , which are caught under the same rules and part of a mixture of species, and yet these prime fish have to be dumped dead at sea.

What the European Union is wilfully doing, in order to create this one unit, is to work directly against the Pyramid of Life - against nature. Those that suffer are not just British Fishermen, but also European Fishermen, Fishermen elsewhere in the world, and the whole of the marine environment, to the detriment of the human race.

SAVE BRITAIN'S FISH IS SPONSORED AND SUPPORTED BY THE FISHERMEN'S ASSOCIATION LTD