Posted by: westlancashirerecord | December 11, 2018

French Fishing Fleet Invasion

Who is in charge of UK fishing waters, apart from M Macron that is? Not the UK, that’s for sure.

A fishing expert claims a French fishing fleet has invaded British waters around Cornwall this morning. Ian Lott, who runs Maritime Media Services and advanced fleet monitoring services from Plymouth, said“I can see this turning into a conflict, the French fishing fleet has invaded our shorelines and British waters.

“The AIS satellite monitoring system has picked up more French boats than I’ve ever seen in Cornish waters . I woke up this morning, turned on my computer and couldn’t believe what I was seeing, all these French vessels have taken advantage of the bad weather overnight. They’ve been able to see that our fleet in Fowey, Falmouth, Mevagissey, and Plymouth are moored up because of high winds.”

Mr Lott, who said this was the worst ‘invasion’ he’d ever seen by what he thinks are bass fishermen, added “They knew there wouldn’t be any of our boats out there and so there wouldn’t be any confrontation. One or two tend to ‘run the line, slip in and out of our waters, but this is a nightmare situation.”

He had spoken to fishermen around Cornwall who “are not happy at all”. “We’re worried about our jobs now and the uncertainties around fishing in Brexit don’t help”. Mr Lott who tweeted a map showing eight French trawlers in Cornish waters, with a similar number approaching, added that he was “livid” at the flagrant disregard for the law.

“There will be a conflict,” he said. “This is now becoming a joke. Rubbing our noses in it.”Cornwall Live attempted to contact harbourmasters in Fowey where one French boat is offshore as well as in Falmouth and Penzance to no avail. Falmouth Coastguards said they hadn’t received reports of trouble or incidents. In September French trawlers were accused of fuelling a sudden rise in hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage to Cornish fishing gear.

The Government will table an amendment to the Fisheries Bill which will enshrine its commitment to secure a fairer share of fishing opportunities for UK fishermen. The amendment would place a legal obligation on the Secretary of State, when negotiating a fisheries agreement with the EU, to pursue a fairer share of fishing opportunities than the UK currently receives under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) .

This would overhaul the current system where UK fishermen have received a poor deal that is based on fishing patterns from the 1970s. On average between 2012 and 2016 other EU Member States’ vessels landed in the region of 760,000 tonnes of fish (£540 million revenue) annually caught in UK waters; whereas UK vessels  landed approximately 90,000 tonnes of fish (£110 million revenue) caught in other Member States’ waters per year in the same time period.

As well as strengthening the law, the Environment Secretary announced £37.2 million of extra funding to boost the UK fishing industry during the Implementation Period.


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