A new EU crack-down on recreational sea fishing will have devastating effects on the UK's 1.4 million sea anglers, commercial fishermen and fish stocks, according to North Devon Fishermen's Association chairman Bob Gotts. The new regulations, in Article
A new EU crack-down on recreational sea fishing will have devastating effects on the UK's 1.4 million sea anglers, commercial fishermen and fish stocks, according to North Devon Fishermen's Association chairman Bob Gotts. The new regulations, in Article 47 of the controversial Common Fisheries Policy, will see recreational sea anglers given quotas and lead to fines of up to £50,000 being imposed on anyone who fails to declare their catch - however small. "This drives yet another nail into the coffin of the fishing industry," said Bob Gotts. "Not only will the anglers' quota be taken out of the existing, pitifully inadequate commercial allocation. Many small fishermen have already been forced to get out of the commercial business and go into leisure sea angling. Now they'll be ruined by the EU's disastrous policy for a second time. "Plus, the EU will insist that all catch is landed, so the traditional catch-and-release of the sporting angler will be ended - hardly a great move for conservation!" Mr Gotts, who is co-chairman of UKIP's Fisheries Policy Committee, urged all North Devonians to support UKIP's campaign against the proposal, by signing the online petition at www.ukip.org/petition/article-47. "For failing to declare a mackerel caught off the beach, a child could face a fine from the EU of up to £50,000. That is just not acceptable. Brussels hopes to ram Article 47 through by April and avoid any debate or opposition. We must protest now," he said.Launching the SOS (Save Our Sport) campaign, which is also gathering support in France and the Netherlands, UKIP leader Nigel Farage MEP said: "Sport and hobby fishing associations were not informed of this proposal until it was already decided. Why should Brussels bureaucrats ruin a sport loved by millions of people all over Britain and tighten the screw even more on our commercial fishermen?