Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart has condemned a new EU Regulation that threatens the livelihoods of Holderness coast beach fishermen and has written to the Fisheries Minister, George Eustice, to ask him to pursue an exemption for Holderness.
The Regulation includes a total ban on targeted sea bass fishing from the shore, jeopardising the future of men like Shaun Wingham, who fishes near Withernsea using the centuries-old practice of onshore fishing, whereby a net is stretched out along the shoreline at low tide and the catch is brought in when it retreats again. Sea bass is the most valuable part of their haul.
To make matters worse, the Regulation will not have any conservation value. As the fishermen have a licence to continue to catch salmon and sea trout they will still catch sea bass in their net but will not be able to land them – instead the dead bass will have to be thrown back into the sea, discarded on the beach or used as crab bait.
“The new EU Regulation is a disaster for Holderness onshore fishermen, whose whole business is under threat if they can no longer land sea bass. Given that they will still catch bass when they fish legally for salmon and sea trout, the situation makes no sense. It is particularly frustrating because I understand from Andrew Wheeler, the Fisheries and Coastal Business Adviser at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, that the most recent analysis of bass on the Holderness coast in 2010 showed healthy stocks of bass.
“In light of the above, I have asked the Minister to press the EU for an exemption for coast beach fishermen in Holderness. This would be the common sense solution and would safeguard the future for our fishermen.”
Shaun Wingham said,
“The new EU rules will destroy our livelihood and mean we will have to discard our catch on the beach. They’re pointless and we desperately want them gone. We’re really pleased Graham has raised this with the Minister and hope a sensible deal can be done before it’s too late.”
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