This week we hosted a parliamentary reception for the Be a Fisherman's Friend campaign at Westminster. The event was well attended by MPs and journalists and provided an opportunity for politicians to come and meet the team as well as some of the small scale fishermen that we have been working with since the very beginning.
We wanted to unite and develop the breadth of support we’ve received so far for the campaign.With the exception of the SNP, MPs from every party we have met along the way or on the night have signed up to the campaign and have supported it in any way that they can, providing us with a group of vocal and influential political champions.
Fisheries minister, Richard Benyon was there and gave a speech on the state of Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) reform. He was also able to see the range of MPs, retailers and NGOs who support this campaign and who are working together to achieve a CFP which works for the fish and the fishermen.
This was a great opportunity to hand over all of the 7,800 signatures we received for our Be a Fisherman's Friend petition, which we placed inside a traditional glass buoy. It was presented to Richard Benyon by seven-year-old Bobby Griffin - son of Ben, and grandson of John, both fishermen from from Hastings. Bobby plans to follow in his dad's footsteps and become the third generation of fishermen from this family.
All in all it was a great event. The MPs all voiced support for the campaign and offered to assist us in different ways ranging from lobbying MEPs, initiating private member’s bills and early day motions and maybe even beginning a committee investigation into quota distribution.