During a recent visit to Swansea I was observing the juxtaposition of the expensive pleasure craft and the fishing fleet in the harbour. Gazing at the posters of “Leave” #Brexit, in many of the fishing boats came as no surprise and reminded me of my recent musings about possible changes to the UK, particulalry the fishing industry, post EU Membership. Out of many contentious areas related to UK EU Membership, the fishing industry has to be one of the most notable.
The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is the European Union’s (EU) instrument for the management of fisheries, aimed at enhancing the sustainability of fish stocks and the economic competitiveness of the fishing industry. However, neither the living aquatic resources, nor the profits of the fishing industry have benefited from it, with 88% of the stocks being overfished and profit margins of fishermen continuously in decline.
An ideal fisheries policy should foster the sustainable use of fish stocks, provide for coherent laws and regulations that yield adequate economic incentives, and guarantee consistent enforcement of the legal framework. Furthermore, the regulation scheme should ideally be based on transparent rules rather than a discretionary political decision-making process, which may be blurred by short-term interests. None of these principles are met by the CFP, due to, inter alia, poor consideration of fish age, class and maximum economic yields.
Britain always had a strong and traditional fishing industry and it is sure to be an interesting topic to follow over the course of the next few years. There are bound to be forthcoming articles and viewpoints of this subject on the net. Here is one supporting Brexit. Fisheries Campaign