Brexit: Fishing industry was 'sacrificed' by government says Deas
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On Tuesday, it was reported that Brixham Fish Market, in Devon, reached new heights as England’s most lucrative fishing port landed a record £43.6million of seafood last year. The port topped 2020’s £35.8million and the previous £40.3million record for 2017.
However, amid the success of the Brixham market, Paul Lines, chairman of Lowestoft Fish Market Alliance, believes the east coast is facing a crisis.
He told Express.co.uk: “Brixham is geographically placed and have a huge array of species to catch, where our main catch in the east coast was cod.
“But it has demised. We don’t catch cod here now, it’s that bad.
“Even down the eastern channel, they are suffering so badly.
“Brexit really hasn’t done anything for us.
“But it’s great news that Brixham has had a great year.”
He lashed out at the Government and accused them of not having a “backbone” and predicted there will be no change in five and a half years.
Mr Lines added: “They have no backbone.
“They cannot see that coastal communities are worth the fight.
“On the east coast here we are downtrodden and poor.
“I cannot see any change and I cannot see any investment coming there until we actually take back control and run our waters as an independent coastal state.”
The 64-year-old fishermen claimed the UK cannot rebuild its once-lucrative industry while there are foreign fleets controlling the oceans.
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He added: “The foreign fleets are taking absolutely everything they can from the sea, unchecked and unquestioned.
“You cannot have an industry or rebuild an industry while you let a foreign entity come and get what they want to supply their markets out of your waters.
“Why would they want ours? They get all they want themselves.
“How will our industry ever rebuild when we don’t have the market?
“You need to create the need.”
Mr Lines urged the Government to help make the British industry as successful as it once was.
Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “We have taken back control of our waters, and a year on from the Trade and Cooperation Agreement a positive picture is emerging for our fishing industry.
“We have seen an increase in quota that will amount to around £146 million by 2026.
“In 2021, the English under-10M pool saw their quota roughly double as we moved to provide access to quota to those fishermen who are able to catch it.
“For 2022, we have come to an agreement with Norway for fishing in each other’s waters, and the EU has finally accepted our status as an independent coastal State and we have reached an agreement bringing certainty for industry.
“We want to level-up and rejuvenate our fishing communities.
“That is why we are investing £100M so that these communities benefit from better infrastructure, new jobs and investment in skills.”
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