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MP brings ray fishing ban to backbench debate

PUBLISHED: 13:43 15 December 2014 | UPDATED: 13:43 15 December 2014

Geoffrey Cox MP QC, Dan Garnett owner of Clovelly Fish, Tony Rutherford owner Bideford Fisheries. Picture: Tidyeye Press.

Geoffrey Cox MP QC, Dan Garnett owner of Clovelly Fish, Tony Rutherford owner Bideford Fisheries. Picture: Tidyeye Press.

Archant

Geoffrey Cox is fighting the corner for North Devon fishing after ray ban causes fisheries to close.

The MP for Torridge and West Devon brought the plight of North Devon fishermen to a backbench debate at the House of Commons on Thursday following a ban on ray fishing.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) levied the ban, which includes the Bristol Channel, in October after the UK went over its quota for the year.

Tony Rutherford, of Bideford Fisheries Limited, operating out of Appledore Fish Dock, had to lay off 10 staff following the announcement, which he estimated would cost the region £100million a year.

Mr Cox said: “I have been calling for an inquiry into the MMO for some time and I very much hope that the Minister will heed my request, and that of others, and launch an investigation into the way that the MMO is carrying out its function.

“There are real questions over whether it is discharging its responsibilities accurately and competently.

“The impact of issuing cuts in the ray quota, as well as the apparent mismanagement, has been extremely serious on the North Devon fishing industry.

“I am determined to do all I can to ensure a better deal is obtained for the industry in Torridge.”

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