This site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards,but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Skip to content....

text size: Decrease text-size Increase text-size

Skip to content....

Stop crucifying our fishing industry - Allister

21 October 2008

During a debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Cod Stocks, Traditional Unionist MEP Jim Allister challenged the sense and logic of the basic EU policy which yearly drives down allowable catches and thereby drives up discards of fish caught above quota. Describing it as a “self-defeating and eco-crazy policy”, the Ulster MEP called for a radical reversal of policy in the Irish Sea, where we not just have a reducing quota and cuts in “days at sea”, but a Spring closure which is not working.

In the course of his remarks Mr Allister said:-

“The constant refrain of the Commission, and indeed this report, is ever declining cod stocks, yet this year within the EU we will dump €50m worth of dead cod back into the sea. Why, because of our crazed policy on discards. The TACs (Total Allowable Catch) have been driven so unrealistically low that massive discards are being produced, probably 1 discard for every cod retained. Yet, year on year, we drive down TACs and in consequence push up discards, and so we perpetuate this self-defeating and eco-crazy policy. Whether a cod is retained or discarded it reduces the biomass.

Increase the TACs and you’ll correspondingly reduce the discards and swell the food supply, without depleting the biomass more than we do through discards. This, I believe, along with Cod Avoidance Plans, is the sensible way to go."

Mr Allister went on to comment specifically about the situation in the Irish Sea:

"Finally, a plea for the Irish Sea, where uniquely in the EU we have not just diminishing TACs, constant cuts in days at sea, but also for 9 years a complete spring closure – a supposed temporary measure, but one which has become as permanent as it is ineffective. We can’t go on with this crucifixion of our fishing industry. We need realistic TACs and no more cuts in days at sea.”


back to list