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Fishermen's future in doubt on eve of Seafood & Wine Festival

September 17, 2009 8:30 PM

On the eve of the prestigious Seafood & Wine Festival, Nick Perry, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary campaigner for Hastings & Rye, has been contacted with the stark message that Hastings fishermen have no more cod until January 2010.

This is due to the UK Government's immoral position on the quota percentage for the under-10 metre sector.

The contact in the fishing community told Nick,

"This means tonnes of fish being dumped back into the sea dead. When Europe is calling for no discards, our Government just hits us time and time again with tougher regulations. All this will achieve is decomissioning by bankruptcy.

"We know where our cod is held for this area, it's held by boats as far away as Scotland, Wales and Cornwall. We will starve and they will never fish it.

"Now is the time to start asking questions as we won't have a fleet much longer at this rate."

Nick says, "This is a further blow to Hastings and Rye fishermen at a time when the EU Commissioner for Competition has ruled that the UK Government is not acting illegally.

"I say that whilst the UK Government's actions may not be illegal in the eyes of the EU, they are immoral in everyone else's. Labour should be ashamed of kow-towing to big fishing businesses. They have hung out the small boats to dry. We must fight tooth and nail to get our MP, his Minister and their Labour Government to go back to the negotiating table and to come up with a fair percentage for the under-10s.

"The consultation on this has been a whitewash. Let's have no more complacent words from Labour. Let's have the action we need to save our fishing industry."