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Liberal Democrat MEP will lobby government to increase fishing quotas for small-scale fishermen after Whitstable visit

Liberal Democrat Euro-MP, Catherine Bearder, is calling on the government to reallocate fishing quotas to protect small-scale fishing fleets after visiting Whitstable fishermen.

key_Whitstable_fishermen.jpgFishing quotas limit the amount and type of fish that can be taken from the water, as a means to regulate fishing to cut waste and stop overfishing in European waters.

The EU has set regulations in European waters, based on scientific evidence, because fish stocks for certain species were hugely depleted.

It is solely down to the UK government, in particular the Minister for Farming, Food and the Marine Environment, George Eustice, to decide how to allocate the quotas across different regions and for different sizes of boat.

Catherine Bearder commented: “Meeting Whitstable fishermen today has once again highlighted the plight facing small-scale fishermen who are an integral part of our coastal communities.

“It is difficult to strike a balance between conserving fish stocks and ensuring fishermen, many of whom go back generations, are able to keep afloat.

“The EU quotas are based on scientific evidence but it is up to the UK government to allocate those quotas – I will be writing to the fishing minister to call for quotas to be allocated more fairly to protect smaller fleets.”

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