MP calls for an end to UK’s unfair allocation of quota

Getting a fairer deal for under ten-metre fishing fleets around the country is “not an overnight process” according to Amber Rudd. 

However, the MP for Hastings and Rye has been meeting with her senior government colleagues to “make the case for our fleets” which she says should be able to set their own quota. 

Currently boats of under ten metres make up around 80 percent of the UK’s fishing fleet, but have access to just two percent of the national quota. 

An investigation by Greenpeace published in October 2018 showed that five of the UK’s wealthiest families control more than a quarter of the country’s fishing quota. 

But Environment and Rural Affairs Secretary Michael Gove has previously stated that the government does not plan any changes to the way UK quota is distributed after the UK leaves the EU and Common Fisheries Policy.

Meanwhile, Mr Gove has designated an area of the sea from Hastings Pier to Beachy Head as a Marine Conservation Zone.

The move, which covers 195 square km, is designed to protect the seabed from harmful fishing methods although it has not yet been made clear how this will be enforced. The Hastings fishing fleet -made up of under ten-metre boats – has been been assured this will not affect them. Ms Rudd said: “It is important that our historic fleet’s sustainable practices are unaffected by the MCZ, while they will also benefit from the increase in marine life due to the stopping of larger scale harmful fishing methods.” The Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society say they are happy with the proposal.

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