Brexit: Fishing industry was 'sacrificed' by government says Deas
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The Prime Minister made “taking back control” of the UK’s coastal waters one of his key messages as he desperately attempted to win support for his Brexit deal with the European Union. But despite insisting Britain would thrive outside the EU, the nation’s small fishing community has been left furious by monstrous supertrawlers – some as huge as 100 metres – and the controversial method of fly-shooting. Environmentalists warned EU supertrawlers are continuing to plunder UK waters despite a pledge from Mr Johnson to ban vessels which he claimed early last year were “hoovering up” fish.
But Greenpeace has warned supertrawlers and fly-shooters – a process that involves dragging heavy ropes along the seafloor, encircling entire shoals of fish in a single quick swoop – are continuing to batter the stocks available to British fishermen.
The campaign group’s oceans director Fiona Nicholls told Express.co.uk: “Why hasn’t Boris Johnson and his Government done anything to put a stop to these destructive fishing practices?
“It was only last year the Prime Minister went on television and said these supertrawlers have no place in UK waters but he has done absolutely nothing to curb them.
“We can’t have words and not deeds from the Prime Minister, especially when these coastal communities want their Government to lead them and act on their behalf.
“It beggars belief because when you’re out at sea, there’s clearly no change.”
Ms Nicholls accused Mr Johnson of making “broken promises” to the UK’s small fishing community, who have told Greenpeace they are “no better off than they were before” Brexit.
She said they feel like they are being used as “political fodder” by the UK Government and they are not seeing any of the benefits they believed they would see, describing it as “appalling and extremely shameful”.
The Greenpeace oceans campaigner added: “Absolutely there have been broken promises.
“Fishermen have told us that none of the promises have been delivered on and they are no better off than they were before.
“They really believed in the campaign around fishing and would be better off outsider the EU but they haven’t seen the fruits of that at all.
“They campaigned for a better life for themselves and their children.
“I ask older fishermen what they will do when they retire and if they will give their boat to their sons but so many of them now don’t want their children to start fishing or to have that life anymore.
“Once those boats have left their family, it will be decades before that is recouped.
“Being used as political fodder and not seeing any of the benefits is appalling and extremely shameful.”
Ms Nicholls is calling for an “emergency measure” to be introduced that would see a blanket ban on super trawlers and fly shooters in two large stretches of water.
She concluded: “In the southern North Sea and Channel, there needs to be a ban on super trawlers and fly shooters to allow the oceans and coastal communities to recover.
“That needs to come in as an emergency measure.
“Long-term, they need to be banned from the entire network of Marine Protected Areas.
“We’re fortunate to have this network but at the moment, it’s just lines on a map.
“So much work went into get them designated and mapping them out, it just needs implementing.”
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