Andrew George MP Calls For Radical Change To Fishing Policy

Posted on: 19th May 2011

Local MP, Andrew George, is calling for a radical EU reform of the Commons Fisheries Policy (CFP) and is campaigning for fishermen to be given greater powers to protect and manage their own fisheries.

He met with a group of West African fishermen in Newlyn this afternoon and will meet with local fishermen and industry bodies during the next few weeks to discuss the CFP reform.

Andrew George MP met with a mission of African fishermen

Mr George is the Liberal Democrat lead on fishing matters in the House of Commons and works closely with the Fisheries Minister, Richard Benyon MP. They are working jointly as Coalition partners in the lead up to the completion of the CFP review by the end of 2012.

Mr George, who took part in a Parliamentary debate last week (Thursday, 12th May 2011) to discuss the reforms, said: “We must support those coastal communities that are dependent upon fishing and the fishing industry whether they be in Europe or in Africa. In doing that we must develop policy which ends the practice of discards and takes powers away from Brussels and gives fishermen and other stakeholders more say in their own local and regional waters whether in Cornwall or Africa.”

Greenpeace has organised a small delegation of three artisanal fishermen from West Africa to visit the UK as part of the European-wide African Voices Tour. Mr George will meet the fishermen when they visit Seafood Cornwall in Newlyn on Friday (20th May) at 12.30pm.

The fishermen will share their own experiences of the effects of large industrial European vessels operating in their waters under the Common Fisheries Policy.

The group are interested in meeting fellow small scale fishermen in the UK and will spend an informal day in Newlyn this week where they will discuss how their livelihoods and communities are threatened by the large European vessels.

Mr George will also be meeting with local fishermen and industry representatives in the coming weeks to discuss other aspects of the CFP and the challenges faced by many fishing communities around the Cornish coast whose livelihoods are dependent upon successful local fisheries management.