Take half an hour for an insight into the fishing industry in the NE of Scotland in Episode 3 of the BBC fishing documentary FishTown!
This Episode shows that there is reinvestment in new boats to take advantage of healthy stocks which should represent a bright future.
But this reinvestment is mainly confined to the bigger and company owned vessels due to the failed British FQA allocation system which has seen the right to quota consolidate to a few hands.
This has stifled new entrants who see little ability for career progression from deck to wheelhouse as the older generation managed.
There is a number of young, keen fishermen who can be the base from which Britain’s industry can be rebuilt after being ravaged by the EUs Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
To nurture this the government must take back control of all Britain’s resources and hold these repatriated resources in a national pool. One that is allocated to all fishermen so youngsters can see that owning a boat means they can access quota.
We are fighting hard for our way of life and industry that can have such a bright future if government gets it right. We can be a world leader in fishing, the equal of Norway, with flourishing coastal communities and a young generation who see a great career at sea.
To achieve this we must take back control of all out water and resources and rejuvenate our fishing to be a sustainable, multi-billion pound industry .
Our government MUST NOT trade away fishing a 2nd time by surrendering our greatest natural resource to hollow EU threats on trade in goods and financial services for continued exploitationary access to British waters.
The UK contributes 50% of the waters and 60% of the catches to the common EU pot but only receives 25% of the quotas.
British seafood is some of the finest and most in demand in the world – EU markets have high dependency on our seafood and will continue to post-Brexit.
The government must take back FULL control of ALL our waters and resources and use this freedom to implement bespoke British policy to husband our great resource as a national asset that can inject huge prosperity to rural coastal communities for generations to come.
Any future deals on fishing must be on a STRICTLY annual basis and ONLY when the UK receives a reciprocal value of fishing opportunities in return.
If the above happens we will be a normal, independent coastal state – the equal of Norway, Iceland and Faroe, with a multi-billion pound industry exporting high quality sustainable seafood globally.
Government must have the guts to stand firm that they won’t sell out fishing for a trade deal. Something Boris Johnson said would be a “reprehensible” thing to do.
With British policy that – ends the cause of discards; tackles EU owned but UK registered Flagships; repatriates our resources; and ends shore based quota renting “Slipper Skippers”, then we will see a rejuvenation to Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Macduff, Banff, Buckie (and all the communities in between) to the boom towns they once were.