Thursday, 7 February 2013

An End to Discards!

Some years ago, an MEP and myself  produced a booklet titled 'Dead in the Water'. This was a critique of the Common Fisheries Policy, and we were both rather proud of it. It was very well received, although we had a wee bit of a problem because of it at a UKIP conference in Exeter.

We had booked a stand where we coud talk about, and distribute, the booklet. Then something interesting happened.

The organiser, who we had already paid for the stand, called and told me that a certain senior MEP had called him several times "begging" him to keep us away from the conference. Doesn't like to be upstaged, see.

We attended anyway, and it was a success for us.

Yesterday the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly for CFP reform that should see the end, at last, to the practice of discarding dead fish in the sea. This is an issue that unites eurosceptics and europhiles alike. It is a disgraceful practice.

But I note that UKIP failed to vote in favour of this much needed reform.

I have read much criticism by UKIP members of the discards policy. So why did they not vote in favour?

Because if discards are banned, then they will have nothing to complain about, and complaining about anything and everything is their stock in trade. There is a lot more to CFP reform than eliminating discards, of course. These reforms will benefit the fishermen and the communities they support. They will benefit the consumer, and relieve the pressure on fish stocks and the environment. It was interesting to note attempts to block the reform by the Spanish, who are responsible for much of the problem. They will have been pleased to see UKIP helping them out by failing to back the reform.

If UKIP is not going to stand up for the interests of British fishermen, what is the point of them? Perhaps it is they who should be discarded!

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