Fishing and the environment

lowestoft fishing harbour


If there was one area where the EU should have ‘worked’ it is fishing. After all, we share the North Sea with France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. But, instead it’s been a disaster. Before we joined the EU in 1973 Lowestoft had more than 100 fishing boats. Now we have less than a dozen.

Our local fish stocks have been devastated because the EU lets all 28 EU countries fish here. It has even subsidised large Spanish trawlers fishing off our coast. Meanwhile, Lowestoft’s fishing industry has been devastated, with our small fishing boats – all under 10m – only allowed to catch tiny quotas of fish and only allowed to go fishing for a few days a month.

We had a UK fishing zone that extended, in the case of the Atlantic, up to 200 miles from our coast, where only British boats could fish. Now we only have a temporary 12 mile limit – that the EU decides every 10 years whether or not it will let us keep. Of course fish don’t just stay within 12 miles of the coast (!) – so fishing boats from other EU countries have been able to deplete local fish stocks to dangerously low levels.

Leaving the EU would allow us to have an exclusive zone where only our local fishermen could fish – they won’t overfish it as their livelihoods depend on having healthy fish stocks.

Leaving the EU will be good for our local fishing industry and good for the environment.

BBC_(Milgreen) WATCH East Coast fishermen say they can rebuild fishing industry if we leave the EU

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