Sunday, 16 November 2008

Fishy business

According to news in today's Sunday Telegraph, the Conservatives have unveiled proposals to bring an end to what they refer to as "scandalous waste" in the fishing sector, hoping to change current EU policy.

To protect fish stocks, the EU Common Fisheries Policy currently enforces a limit on the number of fish that fishermen are allowed to catch and bans crews from landing any fish outside the quotas, forcing fishermen to throw them back into the sea, even if they have died during the fishing process.

The Telegraph reports the shocking statistic revealed by Bill Wiggin, the shadow fisheries minister who is quoted as saying "For every cod we buy in our local fish and chip shop another fish is being chucked back into the sea due to a system that is immoral and environmentally wrong".


The Tories are now seeking EU support for a pilot that would enable fishing crews to actually sell "over-quota" fish with the revenue shared between fishermen and the Government, allowing the profits to be reinvested back into the fishing industry. And it looks like the Conservatives are confident that the EU will accept their proposals.

If so, it will add to the sea of change which has already seen a U-turn by the EU allowing knobbly carrots and bendy cucumbers to return to the shops.

Thank goodness. At last is seems that our very bonkers world is getting less bonkers by the day, a slow process but good news all the same.

Who knows, one day even bananas might get a reprieve.


Strawberry Jam Anne said...

I do so agree with you Mrs A. It is infuriating that such huge quantities of food are wasted while there are millions of people starving. What does that say about our "civilised society".

A x

esther said...

hihihi, the poor bananas! But yes, when I heard this I was amazed! I never had given it some thought, but yes, all fruit and veggies have the same sizes....might sound shocking, but it is a bit what Hitler wanted to do to humanity....and still some fruits (like apples and pears) will keep on going through this thing, we will still not see ugly (but very tatsty nevertheless) apples in our shops!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a sensible plan in theory, but the quota is designed to help conserve fish stocks. If there is an financial reward introduced against "over-quota" fish (basically an incentive), then how will fishermen be policed not to haul in surplus fish on purpose.....? Or have I missed the point..?!

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Anne - it is bonkers isn't it, to throw good food away when it can be put to good use. At last officials are waking up to the issues. :-D

Hi Esther - when I have time, I would like to research more into how it got this way with fruit and veggies, whether it has been the consumer society that has created a perfect marketing bubble that anything less would not do or whether it was business led. It intrigues me why bananas have not yet had the same reprieve. As I said, when I have more time, I'll get around to digging deeper, unless anyone of course can offer further background :-D

Hi Baba - you're quite right regarding protection of the fish-stock which otherwise could be abused and make fishing unsustainable in the longer term. From what I've read it looks like the proposal are to rework the reporting systems as a result to ensure that stocks are protected. Complicated business I guess - glad I'm not in charge :-D

Rev. Peter Doodes said...

It is as crazy as it seems.

I live near Hastings in SE England and by the end of March this year the beach launched fishing fleet had already caught their EEC (European Union) quota of Cod for the year!

They still do have to earn a living though and so when they catch Cod among the other fish they have to throw it back as they are not allowed to land it. Yes it is an obsene mad waste.

The Hastings fleet are only small trawlers and so usually only stay out for less than a day.

We also have other small boat fleets in the UK that are essential to the local economy and have always fished in an environmentaly friendly way as they do not have any bottom scraping nets or fish vacuum sucking devices.

Its a mad world…

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