Letter to those who have been contacted by Chris Davies MEP:

First let me stress that the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) has been a complete environmental, economic and social disaster and UKIP uses what say it has in the EU “Parliament” to vote against discards and protect British fishing.

Where Mr. Davies claims that UKIP and the political group we are attached to, does not have its views represented on the CFP reform is simply not true.

1. When Mr. Farage cannot attend a fisheries committee meeting there is always a substitute member who takes his place.  So the vote we are given on the committee is used by a nominated substitute and not wasted.

2.  May I direct you to a short video of Nigel directly challenging the EU fisheries Commissioner on discards, in the fisheries committee:
http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=aUYrj-mjIu4

3. The CFP reform comes in a number of different legislative proposals.  One of which was authored by an MEP of our political group.  So to say our group has not been involved in CFP reform is very naughty to say the least.

4.  We have a dedicated UKIP staff member who follows very closely all legislative proposals which come through the fisheries committee and we most certainly table amendments and seek to defend British fishingrights where we can.  For example – Mr. Farage will be tabling amendments on shark finning, which will close the loopholes in EU law and help ban the awful practise outright.

What Mr. Davies fails to mention is that MEPs have very little say over EU legislation.  The only people who can propose, repeal or initiate reform of EU law is the EU Commission who are not elected at all.  It is true MEPs can make amendments to legislation but that needs agreement with the EU Council and also, if a bill reaches a second reading, the Commission can have such amendments removed fairly easily.

The UK has given up 100% of fishing regulation to the EU.  The MPs you elect can’t do anything about it, theUK government can’t do anything about it, the MEPs you vote for are powerless to initiate any reform. No one you vote for can initiate or substantially change any CFP reform.

The only way we can deal with the problem of discards is by taking back control of fishing policy and instituting policies to end such waste – which means kicking the EU out of Britain.

UKIP policy on fishing can be summarised as below:

• Immediately withdraw from the Common Fisheries Policy

• Reassert our territorial rights, reclaim our fishing grounds, restore our fishing fleet and support our fishingindustry for future generations

• Return £2.5bn a year in fish sales to the UK economy

• Establish an ‘Exclusive Economic Zone’ extending 200 nautical miles from the UK’s coastline over which the UK exerts total control

• Abandon all EU quotas and strictly forbid the shameful discarding of dead fish – sometimes up to 70% of catches or 800,000 tons p.a.

• Require all commercial species of fish caught, regardless of size or species, to be landed and recorded. This will allow the Government to determine how best to manage the recovery of UK fishing grounds. To preservefish stocks, UKIP will establish a system of moveable ‘No Take Zones’ allowing fish to spawn and assisting recovery in overfished areas

• Ban all forms of industrial fishing and pair trawling for bass. Industrial trawlers have helped cause a catastrophic decline in key fish species

• Strengthen the UK’s Fishery Protection resources to guard British fishing grounds

Yours sincerely

Nigel Farage MEP

Statement on Hugh’s Fish Fight

Many thanks to everyone who has sent me letters regarding the disastrous and morally bankrupt Common Fisheries Policy. This is something which I have been campaigning against for many years and as a Sea Angler is a policy very close to my heart.

Please find below my response to your enquiries:

Dear Correspondent

Thank you for your email regarding reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

The CFP has, quite frankly, been an economic and environmental disaster in which the UK fishing industry and fish stocks have suffered terribly.

The draconian quotas system, forced on to us by the EU, has led to the throwing of dead fish back into the sea. For example in the North Sea, nearly half of all fish caught are thrown back dead. That is nearly one million tonnes a year.

But the question remains what we can do about it?

As I’m sure you are aware, the UK gave up regulation of the fishing industry to the EU. So not one MP you or anyone else elected in the UK can propose or amend law regarding discards or the wider fishing sector. The government repeatedly comes out against discards, as was seen by the recent “fish fight” (CFP reform) campaign led by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. What is laughably called the Fisheries Minister, supports Hugh, but can do nothing about it.

So Hugh went to the top. He met with EU Commissioner Damanaki (Fisheries portfolio) and for the cameras, she said that “you the people can make this change” – when in fact this isn’t true. The EU parliament has very little say and is easily ignored by the Commission, which is the only body that can really regulate.

The UK MPs you elect can’t do anything about it, the UK government can’t do anything about it, the MEPs you vote for are powerless to initiate reform. No one you vote for can initiate or substantially change any CFP reform. It is at this point I have to ask the question, what sort of democracy do we live in when we can’t change a policy by the ballot box?

This gets to the core of my position. The only way we can deal with the problem of discards is by taking back control of fishing policy and instituting policies to end such waste – which means kicking the EU out of Britain.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are more and more areas becoming an EU “competence”; look at environmental legislation and the effects of bio fuels on developing countries, look at the Common Agriculture Policy – one disaster after another and there’s nothing we can do about it because the Commission calls the shots, and we can’t vote them in or out.

UKIP policy on fishing can be summarised as below:

• Immediately withdraw from the Common Fisheries Policy

• Reassert our territorial rights, reclaim our fishing grounds, restore our fishing fleet and support our fishing industry for future generations

• Return £2.5bn a year in fish sales to the UK economy

• Establish an ‘Exclusive Economic Zone’ extending 200 nautical miles from the UK’s coastline over which the UK exerts total control

• Abandon all EU quotas and strictly forbid the shameful discarding of dead fish – sometimes up to 70% of catches or 800,000 tons p.a.

• Require all commercial species of fish caught, regardless of size or species, to be landed and recorded. This will allow the Government to determine how best to manage the recovery of UK fishing grounds. To preserve fish stocks, UKIP will establish a system of moveable ‘No Take Zones’ allowing fish to spawn and assisting recovery in overfished areas

• Ban all forms of industrial fishing and pair trawling for bass. Industrial trawlers have helped cause a catastrophic decline in key fish species

As a member of the Fisheries Committee in the EU “Parliament” I have made many speeches against discards.

Here is one from the hearing of Commissioner Damanaki:

I shall, of course, vote against the quota system any chance I get, and will continue to speak out against discards as much as I can in the media.

Yours sincerely,

Nigel Farage

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