Brexit Party MEP warns Dutch fishing move could ‘spell the end’ for UK fishermen
The Brexit Party MEP blasted a bid by the Dutch to overturn a European Parliament ban on electro-pulse fishing. Mrs Mummery insisted the move was “an abomination”, warning it could “spell the end” for many small-scale British fisherman.
The controversial method uses electrical charges to stun fish into nets.
But critics say it is highly damaging to the seabed.
Mrs Mummery warned the attempt to overturn the ban shows why Brexit is “essential” for UK fishermen.
The Brexit Party MEP for the East of England said: “Many areas of the seabed off the UK’s east coast have already been ruined by this barbaric fishing method, yet the Dutch have the cheek to try to overturn a ban on the method put in place by MEPs in the last parliament.
“This goes to show why Brexit is so essential to the UK fishing industry.
“Only once we have reclaimed our waters from the Brussels stranglehold and returned control of our seas to Parliament can we be sure to rid UK fisheries of the horrific pulse fishing method.
“East Anglian and South Coast fishers joined with their colleagues from across Europe to fight pulse fishing.
“Many had seen first-hand the damage to fish stocks, to gastropods and the fish themselves caused by pulse fishing.
“Many small-scale fishers know that if it is allowed to continue, there would be little to no future for local small-scale boats.
“But with the Dutch challenging the pulse ban, it looks like we are going to have to fight all over again!
“Well, I will say this to those who seek to overturn the ban on pulse.
“We have right on our side and will fight until this dreadful fishing method whatever the outcome of Brexit.
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“I, for one, will be leading the fight; doing what is right for the ecology and the sustainability of Britain’s fisheries.”
In a video posted on her Twitter, Mrs Mummery warned Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan risks UK fishermen.
In the clip, filmed in Ramsgate, Kent, former fisherman Martin Jackson said: “Pulse fishing is electric pulse beaming where a charge is fired down onto the seabed, fixed to a trawl and this tasers fish. It stuns them and they drop back into the net.
“DEFRA commissioned a survey by CEFAS to find out what was happening on the seabed. And as far as we know, the results of the survey were so damning, DEFRA has not released the results.”
John Nichols, chairman of Thanet Fisherman’s Association, added: “It has serious damaging effects on the ecosystem. We as fishermen here in Ramsgate believe it sterilises the ground as it goes along.
“We believe that it kills all the small fish, the very, very small fish. It breaks the backbones of the small sole and small cod, anything that lives on the seabed, and it kills them.
“It is an extremely effective method of catching fish, it saves a lot of money on the fuel, they’re probably burning a third of the fuel they were burning in the past.
“They’re towing a lot lighter gear. The damage that the actual pulse fishing does is a lot more extensive, but it’s out of sight, out of mind.
“You can see the fuel going into a boat, and you can appreciate that it’s a lot less fuel going in, but what it’s doing to the environment and the seabed because it’s on the seabed ad you can’t see what’s happening, that’s the damaging factor.”
The Brexit Party MEP said: “So we’ve heard from John and Martin just how bad pulse fishing is, and like I’ve said before, if Boris Johnson puts through the WA4, that will give the EU a chance to let the Dutch start this barbaric type of fishing yet again.
“They’ve already decimated our coastlines, we do not want that back, so let’s keep on to Boris about this. Let’s make sure he does not do the dirty and put that through.”
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