Tuesday 12 May 2009

UKIP Leader Slams EU Fishing Policy

The EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) threatens to obliterate the UK's fishing industry entirely within 10 years, according to Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party. It is also fuelling the massive growth of economic migration and piracy in Africa, according to the party, which advocates reclaiming the UK's fishing grounds.

"We must regain control of our territorial waters and of our fishing and marine conservation policies as a matter of extreme urgency," said Mr Farage at a meeting with North Devon Fishermen at the new Appledore Fish Dock today.

"The EU itself has now admitted that 26 years of the CFP have been a complete failure, with 88 per cent of European fish stocks over-fished and 30 per cent being at risk. In fact, it has been an ecological, economic and political disaster. We must put a stop to it now, before it's too late."

Mr Farage claimed the direct cost of the CFP to Britain was £2.8 billion a year and the UK has lost almost 100,000 jobs since 1973. It was estimated the direct annual cost to Britain as being equivalent to the entire pre-tax profits of Tesco.

"The scandal of millions of dead fish being dumped back into the sea every year is now well known. Where British fishermen have landed fish rather than dump them, they have been prosecuted, ruined and in some cases imprisoned by our Government, acting for the EU, he said.

UKIP policy is for an immediate reinstatement of the UK's 12-mile territorial waters, with all foreign fishing banned; and a further 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone in which fishing would be managed by the UK to ensure proper conservation of stocks.

"Our waters hold 70 per cent of Europe's fish, but we may not catch more than 13 per cent under EU rules," said Mr Farage. "Every other EU member state - many of whom subsidise their fleets - is entitled to a share, even if they're landlocked countries in Eastern Europe.

"What's worse is that the EU's industrialised fleets, having exhausted UK waters, are now plundering African fish, impoverishing already poor communities and leading a massive rise in emigration and piracy." Mr Farage described the Appledore Fish Dock, part-funded by the EU, as "an extreme irony".

"They're giving us back some of our own money, to build a facility they are working hard to make redundant as soon as possible", he said.


Anonymous said...

EU's fisheries policy also destroys lives in West Africa. Spanish and Portuguese trawlers, having got to their quota limits travel south and drain the West African coast of fish. Then destitute West African fishermen jump on boats and land in Malta. Some possibly landing here via Calais. The EU should be scrapped. At the very least we should get out.