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Euro MP Sharon Bowles meets with Selsey fishermen to discuss fairer fishing

June 12, 2011 6:06 PM
June 6, 2011 11:34 AM
Originally published by Sharon Bowles MEP

Sharon Bowles MEP, who represents South East England at the European Parliament, has met with fishermen in Selsey,West Sussex, to discuss

Sharon Bowles MEP with fishermen in Selsey, West Sussex - courtesy of John Periam, Fishing News (John Periam, Fishing News)

Sharon Bowles MEP with fishermen in Selsey, West Sussex - (photograph courtesy of John Periam, Fishing News)

reform of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and other issues relating to fairer fishing.

Ms Bowles, who has campaigned for fairer fishing since becoming a Member of the European Parliament in 2005, has visited inshore fishing communities across the South East in recent months to discuss CFP reform.

Last week Ms Bowles met with TV chef and Fish Fight campaigner, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, to discuss the banning of 'discards' - a CFP rule which forces fishermen to throw 'surplus' fish dead back into the sea.

Speaking of her Selsey visit, Ms Bowles said:

"As with other places in the South East, Selsey's inshore fishing community is suffering because of unfair quota allocation, which sees big producer organisations getting most of the fishing quota and smaller, sub-10 metre boats with barely any quota at all.

"Consequently, local fishermen are not able to catch fish when they need to and, more often than not, they are forced to throw their catch back into the sea to ensure they comply with stringent quotas.

"It is a sorry state of affairs when local fishermen are not able to fish their own waters, especially when there are bigUKfishing organisations which do not use their quota but instead sell it on to other big fishing organisations abroad.

"I have been trying to raise awareness of these issues and I hope, with CFP reform on the horizon, that the problem of unfair fishing quotas can be resolved before the inshore fishermen lose their livelihoods."