Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Conservatives developing policies to support our Ramsgate’s Fishermen

Laura Sandys attended, with members of the Thanet Fishing Community, a national summit for the Under 10 meter fishing fleet held by the Conservative Fisheries Shadow Minister Richard Benyon MP.

Our Ramsgate fishing community is already bringing in a million pounds into the local economy. But there is so much more potential for what is an important sector for our local economy.
“At the meeting there was a clear consensus that “big Government” is oppressing our local fishermen’s ability to continue to fish. The current system of regulation of “one size fits all” whereby sustainable, small fishing quotas are managed by the same rules as the large trawlers is clearly unworkable. What we need is a system that treats small sustainable local fishing communities like Ramsgate completely differently. This is desirable not only for the wellbeing of our communities, but also for protecting our fisheries,” said Laura.The key points that came out of the summit were:
Our inshore fishermen need stronger representation on decision making bodies.

Defra should argue for Fisheries management to be devolved to the lowest level – managed locally in a verifiable sustainable way
The current quota system is unsuitable for the Under 10m group. In the short term, they need a larger slice of the quota and we would continue to press for that.
In the longer term, they need to be managed outside the quota system with other tools, such as net size, days at sea, individual stock management plans. Local planning and fishing in this way would reduce the waste of discards. Incentive systems could reward environmentally positive fishing.
It was a really useful meeting putting our local fishing needs to the Shadow Minister. There is a real recognition that under a Conservative Government local management will be key, and that the voice of our smaller fishing fleets concerns must be heard at the top table.

Richard Benyon MP, the Shadow Fisheries Minister said, “Now more than ever I realise the need for better local management of fishing in a way that protects our coastal communities. Unlike the Government, we are listening to fishermen and see them as part of the solution rather than part of the problem

1 comment:

  1. In the past the Conservative Council have treated the Ramsgate Fishermen appalingly. It feels as if they wanted them out and replaced them with yatchs. The dredging of the harbour only takes place to make it easy for yatchs never the fishermen.


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