EU Fishing Quotas: Discard Policy ScandalFEBRUARY 2011: Nick Griffin's speech in the European Parliament on the fishing industry at the end of last year certainly struck a chord with his constituents.
Back then. the MEP for the North West of England told fellow MEPs.
"Britain´s home waters have been fished to near extinction under European Fisheries policies.
"The reality is the protection of fish stocks is best left to local fishermen and national government marine scientists, not EU bureaucrats.
"The advice from the men working in the broken remnants of Britain´s fishing fleets is simple: Scrap quota systems that lead to discards and highgrading (right), and replace them with weight-based catch limits so that all fish caught are landed for human consumption or for processing into animal and fish feed."
Now the issue is being raised again thanks to Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's "Big Fish Fight"programme.
Hugh is campaigning to stop the fish being thrown back into the sea because of the European Union's "fish quotas".
"Please support this campaign," a constituent from Rossendale in Lancashire asks Nick.
"Trawlers are throwing back nearly three-quarters of their catch into the North Sea DEAD. Tonnes and tonnes of prime cod is being killed for no reason. Please get the European Parliament to stop this madness."
Responding on behalf of Nick Griffin, Constituency Office manager Tina Wingfield wrote:
"Anyone with an ounce of common sense must realise that it is an absolute scandal that every day, half the fish caught in the North Sea are thrown back dead. That is almost a million tonnes of edible fish every year simply wasted as a consequence of EU supposed “conservation” measures.
"Discarding is not limited to the North Sea. According to EU figures, between 40% and 60% of all fish caught by trawlers in 2007 were discarded. Fishermen, constantly struggling to earn a decent living, are forced to waste much of their catch because of the quotas imposed on many species of fish.
"Mr Griffin and the British National Party have campaigned against this nonsensical EU discard policy for many years, so it is encouraging to see the issue now firmly on the political agenda.
"The long-term solution to this problem is clear: national control over our own fishing industry must be restored, and the only way to achieve this is for Britain to withdraw from the European Union.
"In the meantime however, action must to taken to safeguard the immediate future of Britain’s beleaguered fishing businesses. Following discussions with fishermen, Mr Griffin and his fellow British National Party MEP, Andrew Brons, have identified four key priorities which must be addressed. The most immediate priority is to resist any reduction in the number of days they are allowed to fish from 135 days. The drastic 90-day proposal favoured by Brussels Eurocrats would certainly sound the death knell for many British fleets, but any reduction could drive trawler businesses onto the rocks.
"Any reduction in species quotas must also be opposed and the immoral policy of discarding “over-quota” fish must be ended. A fourth priority is to end the clandestine speculation in quotas which increases prices and reduces profit margins for trawler owners. Quotas should only be sold to trawler owners.
"Please be assured that your British National Party MEPS will be campaigning vigorously within the European Parliament to try to revise the Common Fisheries Policy so that it reflects - to some degree at least - a sensible and sustainable fishing