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To: Teresa May, David Davis
Fisheries Post Brexit
Ensure that the ownership and management of Ensure that Britain's fisheries are returned to the British government and not used as a bargaining chip for trade deals.
Why is this important?
British territorial waters are some of the most productive in Europe.
I started fishing full time 42 years ago. Most of that time under the EU's Common Fisheries Policy. When we joined what was then the EEC we had to sign away equal access to other European countries. Some, like Spain, had no history of fishing in British waters. Others had so little territorial waters of thier own that they must have been rubbing thier hands together with glee at gaining access to our rich and abundant waters.
Over the years I have seen the Common Fisheries Policy depress the industry, with once household named fishing ports such as Fleetwood, Milford haven, Lowestoft, Hull and Grimsby all declining. Thousands of people, not only fishermen but those industries supporting them, had to face finding other work or the dole. Whole communities were destroyed.
The policy led to overfishing and the consequent decimation of prime fisheries, such as Liverpool bay and the Southern North Sea.
The most recent threat has come from Dutch electro pulse fishing. Wiping out whole eco systems on the north Sea in the name of efficiency.
I have seen once thriving fisheries that I used to work every year, nearly destroyed. Limiting us to smaller areas and concentrating effort there, instead of the diversity of grounds and fishing opportunities we used to enjoy.
We now have the golden opportunity to take back control of what is a national resource potentially worth billions. By putting our own measures in place managing our fisheries effectively and sustainably we could ensure that not only are there fish in the seas but an industry for our children and grandchildren.
Those Europeans that have an historic right of access and have fished or waters for hundreds of years, must be allowed to continue within limits but only if they comply with our rules of enforcement.