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Fishing plan a step in right direction
I AM pleased that the European Parliament has approved new plans to try to protect fish stocks in European waters.
Contrary to popular myth, the Common Fisheries policy was never designed to oblige fishermen to throw fish into the sea or to irritate nationalist politicians; it was designed to protect fragile fish stocks.
Unfortunately, too many fishermen refused to change their fishing practices by, for example, no longer using high seas drift nets, or changing their nets to a larger mesh in order to allow smaller fish or non-commercial species to escape.
Fishing vessels also continue to trawl the sea bottom which may bring many unwanted fish into the nets and damage the fragile marine environment.
Fish are discarded for many reasons, including the quality of the fish and whether or not there is a market for them as well as size. So we cannot expect an end to all discards, but we must hope the Council of Ministers accepts the European Parliament vote and that the new policy will give fish stocks the protection they desperately need.
UKIP sent me an email claiming they were the champions of UK fishermen. It is worth noting that, along with six other UKIP MEPs including leader Nigel Farage, Godfrey Bloom didn’t bother to vote on this important issue.
Christian Vassie, Blake Court, Wheldrake, York.