I need to speak about the technical issues regarding the forthcoming measures on Bass fisheries. Particularly in relation to small scale fisheries.
It seems British fishermen will again be punished for the bad practices of others.
For instance the Thanet Fishermens association have been voluntarily practising safe and sustainable fishing practices for many years. Their measures have included spawning boxes and nursery areas. However now, because of the laxness of european fishing practices, many fishermen in the UK including those in Thanet face ruin.
John Nichols of the Thanet Fishermens Association proposed, amongst other measures, an increase in MLS and restrictions on mesh sizes in 2008 and again in 2012. Nothing was done.
This is the archetypal EU method of waiting until a problem reaches almost unmanageable proportions and then coming down like a ton of bricks on the guilty and innocent alike. I fully expect the Commission to put forward proposals that wreak havoc on law abiding businesses who are true guardians of the seas.
Therefore my question to the commission is: Will you ensure that artisanal fishermen in the UK be given time and compensation to enable them to survive the too much, too late, plans of the commission?