Speech to Parliament 16th Nov 2011
Debate; Combating Illegal Fishing at Global Level
The CFP was only introduced in 1973 when the UK joined the Common Market. Up to then UK fishermen had looked after their fisheries so well, without all these regulations, that other, profligate, member states wanted a slice of our action.
The result, illegal Fishing. Any system with complex rules and regs produces cheats, that's human nature.
Now you want to duplicate our Coastguard and to consider more rules to combat possible illegal recreational fishing. Do you never stop meddling?
To preserve fish stocks member states must be made responsible for their own fishing waters, up to the 200 mile limit, or the median line. Bi-lateral arrangements would be up to them and they would have to protect their own fish stocks in their own interests, under their laws and enforcement.
Norway does just that. Stocks have recovered, especially the spawning stocks of several species, but then, Norway is not in the EU and does not have to obey your crazy rules. They ban discards, requiring that all fish caught are landed.
Meanwhile, EU stocks are seriously depleted. I know that thought is being given to discards, but, after 38 years of waste, will our stocks recover?
As to combating illegal fishing globally the EU's discard policy is the greatest illegal fishing scandal of all, that, and licensing European Fishing fleets to raid the waters of the third world, reducing those peoples to poverty. Now, that's what I call illegal.
Derek Clark MEP Strasbourg 17th Nov 2011