I intend to release regular bulletins about fishing. This is an issue of a
highly emotive nature. Not least in the Tory Heartlands, "Middle England".
When we ran a petition some years ago, apart from Fraserborough, where the
entire population signed, our best results were in the Home Counties.
As if it were not enough for British fishermen to be denied the rights
enjoyed by the fishermen of free nations all over her world, of first claim
on their own legally held fishing grounds, they are also subject to the most
rigid enforcement of insane regulations emanating from Brussels, but
generally ignored by other EU countries.
Skipper John Pirie Forman, of the Peterhead trawler "Veracious", reports that
he and his crew threw 15 tons of coley, sometimes called saithe, back into
the sea, dead. This was because the geniuses in Brussels set very small
quotas for coley, although this fish is abundant. His crew also dumped 4 tons
of small haddocks. This was because with his very small quota for haddock,
when he took some larger fish, which would fetch a better price, he was
forced to discard the smaller fish. All this while he watched vessels of
other EU states fishing away without restrictions, although the
same rules are supposed to apply to them. Retired Fishery Protection
officers have testified that they were under orders to watch British
fishermen like hawks, but "not to upset our European partners".
Heath's insane surrender of our fishing grounds has had implication far
beyond denying a decent living to some of the bravest sons of our country;
fishing is the most dangerous occupations in Britain. As a great
fish-exporting nation, our fishermen could earn us billions in foreign
exchange. Incredibly, with 80% of the fish stocks of the EU, we are now net
importers of fish. In a dangerous world in which war has returned to Europe,
the reduction of our once mighty fishing fleet to an affair of mainly small
boats, has torn a yawning gap in our naval defences. In two World Wars, our
fishermen swept the mines and hunted the U-Boats. They escorted the convoys
and patrolled the cruel waters of the Arctic. They were on the beaches at
Dunkirk and on D-Day. Without their reckless courage and legendary
seamanship, we should have succumbed to the German blockade. We are now
defenceless against minefield warfare.
Further information about the "Save Britain's Fish" campaign can be found on
our web site www.savebritfish.demon.co.uk
Must take the biscuit.