DEFRA Minister, George Eustice, has advised Bob Seely that leaving the EU provides an opportunity to introduce stronger measures around super trawlers.
Following public concerns raised in October – when the Margiris super trawler was spotted off the coast of the Isle of Wight – Bob wrote to DEFRA about the legality of Margiris operating in English waters.
The Minister has confirmed -in his response to Bob that the existing Common Fisheries Policy legally entitles EU registered vessels to fish in our waters. The Minister said:
“Leaving the EU and taking back control of our waters as an independent coastal state gives us the opportunity to introduce stronger measures.
“We expect to hold annual negotiations with the EU and third countries on access and fishing opportunities.”
“I thank the Minister for his response and clarification of what is permitted in our waters when it comes to super trawlers.
“While it is disappointing – and concerning – that super trawlers such as the Margiris are legally entitled to operate in our waters, I am hopeful that once we have left the EU, a new fisheries policy will enable us to impose stronger restrictions on these large fishing vessels.
“I thank the Minister for reassuring me that this Government remains fully committed to sustainable fishing and I look forward to the introduction of a new fisheries policy that will look to preserve our fish stocks and protect our marine environment.”
A copy of the letter from the Minister can be downloaded here.