Help us get a fair catch for sustainable fishermen

Posted by Alicia C — 29 May 2012 at 8:53am - Comments
Ben and John Griffin, Hastings Fishermen
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace
John and Ben Griffin, fishermen from Hastings are part of the campaign

Today we’re launching “Be a fisherman’s friend” campaign  - an unprecedented alliance between Greenpeace and UK sustainable fishermen, to push for a real reform of broken EU fishing laws. 

I’ve spent a lot of time around the British coast this past year, seeing for myself how sustainable, small boat, fishermen are struggling to survive. These fishermen are being put out of business by European policies and UK governance that shuts them out and threatens their livelihoods. It’s been heart-breaking to meet fishermen who have fished responsibly for generations, but may be the last of their kind.

In recent decades, the law that governs Europe’s fishing industry - the Common Fisheries Policy, has totally failed both our fish and our local fishermen. Over 70% of Europe’s fish stocks are overfished, while fishermen, who look after their patch and fish sustainably, face an uncertain future. Our new campaign aims to get a better deal for sustainable coastal fishermen at both a European and UK level. 

This year’s reform of the CFP offers a once-in-a-decade chance to make things right.  We’ve joined up with the New Under Ten Fishermen’s Association, and fishermen we’ve met around the coast, to call for real change.  We’re demanding a reformed CFP that puts the health of our seas and fish stocks at its heart, gives fishing rights to sustainable fishermen and stops using taxpayer subsidies to keep high-impact fishing vessels afloat.

Coastal fishermen often tell me that they don’t feel like they have a voice and in any case, they’re too busy trying to eke out a living under unjust policies to represent themselves at political meetings.  This campaign aims to change that, by giving fishermen like John Griffin and Bud White, sustainable fishermen from Hastings, the opportunity to be heard.

While not all small-scale fishing is perfect and not all big boats are bad, most of the small-scale fleet represent sustainable fishing practices that can be a genuine part of the solution, if properly supported.  Which is why it’s crucial that we champion their cause – together, we can be a voice for real change that will salvage a future for our fish, fishermen and the coastal communities that rely on them.   

It’s time to give our sustainable fishermen a fair catch.  Be a fisherman’s friend now and send our sea shanty petition to fisheries minister, Richard Benyon.

When you try to send a sea shanty through the greenpeace website rather than via facebook, it only allows input into the bottom 2 of 5 info boxes (the phone number and postcode boxes), and then when you try to send the shanty, it says you need an email etc, yet you can't input this, so yeh, a little glitch there.

I am an under 10m small boat fisherman, I work off the coast at Clacton On Sea.  It is great to have support from an organsation like Greenpeace, thank you so much.  Our days are numbered unless something changes, and it needs to change sooner or we wont be around later.  This is the hardest year, certainly not to catch fish, but through the wicked discards and quota system, to be able to earn enough money to keep the boat working.  I am currently being prosecuted because I wrote to the MMO and refused to throw back any more fish last year - unfortunately this year I have already dumped enough fish to pay my boat fees for a year.

see photos on the link below.

support us by writing to your local MPs demanding quota reform for our under 10m fleet, fair catches for all and an end to the wasteful practice of discard..




I am the captain of a factory trawler

Making more money than a Prem footballerI hate those meddling Greenpeace types,Environmental guttersnipes
I don't care if species shrink, Terminal decline or even extinctDon't care what Mr. Attenbrough thinksAs long as it makes me wealthy,Marine life can stay unhealthyChorusSo I'll hoover up all the life in the seasBring Shark's fins for a billion ChineseBream and tuna for the JapaneseSo don't change the fishing laws boys,Don't change the fishing lawsYes hoover up all the life in the seasThe last few whales and ManateesI'm getting rich from all of these,So don't change the fishing laws boys,Don't change the fishing laws


I love fish and I love fishing. For the future of both, this government must take control of fishing policy and see that it protects and enhances our fish stocks, and the lives and livelihoods of the small fishermen of these islands.

About Alicia - Oceans Team

I'm a recent addition to the Oceans Team where I'm working on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy - in particular the impact of European's external fleet on some of the poorest non-EU nations.

twitter @LeeshC

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