Government mustn’t turn its back on fishermen

Posted on: 3rd March 2014

West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, fears that fishermen are being overlooked as the Government concentrates its storm damage support for farmers and large businesses.

Local fishermen who have contacted Mr George over the weekend confirmed that they have been unable to visit their fishing grounds since before Christmas to check crab pots and other fixed gear. Some have said that they are “on their knees” and, for example, those from Cadgwith have expressed a fear that this could be the “death knell” to the fragile economy which keeps the fishing cove working.

Mr George has already pressed Government ministers on the need for reasonable financial support to retain viability for the inshore fishing industry. This included a visit to Porthleven by the Deputy Prime Minister a fortnight ago, shortly after it was severely damaged by the storms, with the loss of ten boats.

Mr George said:

“Hardship funds have been set up for businesses affected by flooding and for farmers, but nothing specifically for fishermen.

“Fishermen point to support available to their compatriots in Scotland, even though the Scots have been less weather affected than Cornish fishermen.

“A few local fishermen were invited to a political meeting with the Fisheries Minister last Friday but fear that they will be left empty handed. These are exceptional circumstances and require an exceptional response.”

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