Rogerson slams Government handling of Trevose fishing ground closure
The meeting had been called to discuss a European Commission regulation which closed a vast swathe of valuable fishing grounds in the Bristol Channel, as part of a cod spawning conservation measure that had been agreed at the Fisheries Council in Brussels last month. The regulation was published by the European Commission on Friday 14th January.
Concern has been expressed by fishermen and Mr George, the Liberal Democrat Shadow Fisheries Minister, that the proposal allows very powerful Belgian beam trawlers into the conservation box for one month during the period it is in place 'between January and March' undermining the purpose of the conservation measure.
Mr George said: "The regulation as drafted would undermine the livelihoods of very small coastal fishermen operating from St.Ives, Hayle, Newquay, Padstow and Port Isaac.
"They would need to steam so far from their traditional fishing grounds that it would hardly be worth their while going to sea at all. It would also involve them putting their lives at risk.
"However, we were pleased with the outcome of the meeting. We believe that there is a solution to the problem which I think will work in the longer term. In the meantime the Minister and UK officials will be seeking clarification from the European Commission on matters of detail and enforcement."
Mr Rogerson said,
"All it will take is a little common sense from Government officials to ensure that a the livelihoods of local fishermen are protected, while still preserving fish stocks for the future. I hope that this initiative by Cornwall's Liberal Democrat team will have changed the Government's policy on this issue."