Freethinkeruk has recently returned from a sailing holiday in The Isles of Scilly (magical place, go if you can) and called into the fishing port of Newlyn on the way back.
There I enjoyed chatting with an aging fisherman who enlightened me on the plight of the British fishing industry. I’m sure most of my readers will be passingly familiar with the rules that restrict the tonnage of fish caught meaning that trawlers and other boats can only go out a limited number of days per year. There are also restrictions on the type of fish that can be landed said to be to conserve stocks. When nets are being pulled along several hundred feet below the surface there is obviously no way to avoid catching ‘restricted’ fish. What happens to these fish when the nets are brought in? They are dumped over the side, dead! Yes, thousands of tonnes of good edible fish thrown into the deep to rot. The fishermen are not even allowed to bring them ashore and give them away. What a disgusting waste.
This old guy also informed me that due to the quotas and the high cost of diesel he went out for eight days recently, that’s eight days and nights tossing about on the ocean in all weathers, and after paying expenses was left with £240. Less than a pound an hour for working in the most dangerous industry of all.
In defiance of the EU, France subsidises diesel costs for it’s fishermen while our government abides by the letter of EU directives and sits on it’s hands as our fishermen go bankrupt and the industry dies. Not until the cost of our ‘fish n chips’ doubles, trebles or more will anyone, it seems, sit up and take notice.
No wonder then that I’m told most fishermen belong to UKIP!