EU has fished British waters to extinctionOCTOBER 2010: THERE was drama surrounding Nick Griffin's first ever two minute speech in the European Parliament in Strasbourg this morning during a debate on the Fishing Industry.
Normally speeches are one minute, or sometimes 1 minute 30 seconds, but this morning Jean Marie Le Pen, who was due to speak, was called away on Front National business and Nick was given his one minute slot in addition to his own.
He was only told that he had the extra time just a few minutes before he was due to speak, so he had to quickly make notes and then literally run to get to his microphone in time!
Hence when the speech is televised, people will see the MEP for the North West of England is somewhat out of breath.
This is what Nick told his fellow MEPs:
"Before taking advice from any 'expert', it is wise to examine their record to check that they are competent.
"The Integrated Maritime Policy report is partly the work of the Fisheries Committee, so before buying in to its various grand schemes for EU maritime imperialism, it is worthwhile taking a critical look at the European Union's record on the management of the seas.
"Inevitably, this means assessing the situation in the former sovereign UK waters and fishing grounds secretly betrayed to European bureaucracy control in 1973, since nearly 70% of so-called EU fishing stocks are actually British fishing stocks.
"How have our fish and our fishermen fared under the Common Fisheries Policy?
"The figures tell us far more than all the fine words in this report.
"88% of the EU's stock is overfished, against a global average of about 27%. 30% of our fish species are now officially "outside safe biological limits" because there are too few adult fish left for normal reproduction.
"Under the CFP´s obscene quota system, nearly a million tons of fish are discarded dead into the North Sea alone every year. Meanwhile the industrial hoovering up of species such as sand eels has led to crashing populations of bird species such as puffins.
"To Europe's south the picture is just as bad. West African fishermen whose lifestyle has been sustained for generations are forced to switch to people trafficking because EU registered vessels have helped fish their waters to extinction.
"It is time for the EU to acknowledge that its record in marine management is the worst in the entire world, a typical example of what is known as The Tragedy of the Commons - the phenomenon by which shared resources always get exploited ruthlessly because anyone who exercises restraint is disadvantaged by the unscrupulous.
"It is time to restore control of the seas and fishing grounds to the sovereign nations whose track record has shown them fit to exercise such stewardship. In more than two thirds of the waters the EU has nearly fished to extinction, that means the British nation and British fishermen."
As a youngster Nick recalls visits to Lowestoft and seeing the harbour packed with trawlers and the docks alive with men shifting boxes of fish and men and women gutting and packing the catch. Now it's a ghost port, with the EU scratching around for proposals to revitalise it.
The same is true of ports like Fleetwood all along the North West coast. So the MEP was delighted to be able to speak up on behalf of our surviving fishermen and for a future when we nurture our depleted fish stocks back to being a major national resource once more.