Greenpeace responds to government's fisheries white paper

By agency reporter
July 5, 2018

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has published a White Paper, Sustainable Fisheries for Future Generations. which Defra says, "charts our course for managing fisheries after Brexit. It outlines how powers to be proposed in the Fisheries Bill, which will be introduced in this session of Parliament, will give the UK full control of its waters and the ability to set fishing opportunities such as quota." It also says "the UK will have the opportunity to move towards a fairer share of fishing opportunities". 

Responding to the White Paper, Paul Keenlyside, Political Advisor at Greenpeace UK, said: "Local, low-impact fishing communities in the UK have been hung out to dry for years, and it is disappointing to see that the long awaited White Paper does little to resolve this. If the Government really believes that fish in the sea are a public resource and the rights to catch them are a public asset, putting this principle into action should, by all rights, give a much bigger slice of the pie to local, low-impact fishers.

"But Defra’s much delayed Fisheries White Paper contradicts this principle by remaining committed to the existing, unfair, approach to quota allocation, under which two-thirds of English fishing quota is owned by just three large companies. While it proposes an alternative approach for 'new' quota available to the UK after Brexit, it is currently unclear how much 'new' quota there will be if the Government is sticking with science-based policy to avoid overfishing, and there certainly won’t be any during a transition period, during which the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy would still apply.

"Rather than leaving low-impact fishers reliant on negotiated concessions from Brussels, the Government should use the powers it already has to reward those fishing in a more sustainable way, ensuring the social cohesion of seaside communities, and creating jobs and boosting coastal economies."

* Download the white paper Sustainable fisheries for future generations  here

* Greenpeace UK


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