I have never written a blog before, so I thought that I would start by sharing some good news!
Last month I wrote to the local MP for Bristol, Mr. Stephen Williams (LibDem), regarding the Fish Fight campaign and asked him to sign Early Day Motion 1123 which calls on our government to stop the disgraceful practice of “discarding” within our fisheries.
“Discarding” is a practice employed by our fisheries in order to keep within the current quotas imposed by the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). At the moment, our fishermen are only allowed to land predetermined quantities and certain species of fish, and any excess fish or fish of the “wrong” species, are thrown back overboard. Up to HALF of the fish trawled from the North Sea are thrown back dead or dying because of this quota system, and not only is this environmentally harmful and totally unethical, but it is economically unsustainable as well.
The Fish Fight campaign has been actively working with the fishing industry as well as prominent environmental groups such as ClientEarth and the Marine Conservation Society to help put an end to this shameful practice, and EDM 1123 calls on the government to demand strong reform of the current EU Common Fisheries Policy.
So anyway, my good news is that I have finally received a reply from Mr. Williams and not only has he signed the Early Day Motion to show his support, but he has also personally written to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs about this issue. The Minister for this Department responded to Mr. Williams and voiced his agreement that this policy is in desperate need of reform and that discards are both “environmentally damaging and financially wasteful.”
If you have not already signed the petition to end discards then please take a moment to do so at www.fishfight.net
Thanks everyone, and as soon as I have any more news on this subject I will be sure to post it here, so watch this space!