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We tried to warn you! EU shamed for destroying local fishing industries – MEP lashes out

3 min read

Brexit: Expert expresses concern for fishing industry future

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MEP France Jamet hit out at Brussels over its fishing rules, which she claimed were squeezing the life out of local fishing industries in her country. She accused the EU of using fishing as a “bargaining chip to satisfy a short-term European target”.

Speaking in the European Parliament, she unleashed a tirade against the bloc, saying the EU must “urgently” change the terms of the grossly unpopular CFP.

She said: “Fishermen are rightly proud of their noble and ancestral trade, essential to the life of coastlines, but many of them also hope for another future for their children.

“We can understand them: it is a physical job, difficult, but above all, with prospects for development blocked for years by the Common Fisheries Policy.”

She also accused the EU of bowing to demands from “eco-terrorist NGOs” to impose strict fishing quotas and conditions.

Ms Jamet said it would be in the bloc’s interest to listen to the concerns of fishermen instead.

She added: “It is a profession that is the favourite target of certain eco-terrorist NGOs, even though our fishermen respect the strictest environmental standards in the world and they constantly have to adapt to new and increasingly demanding regulations.

“Some of them are all the more unfair because the EU keeps signing free trade treaties which massively import fish whose conditions of breeding and catch do not correspond at all to our health and environmental standards.

“Some of them are all the more unjust because they attack small-scale fishing especially and small farms letting industrial fishing plunder our resources with impunity.”

Ms Jamet claimed French trawlermen had told her they cannot realistically see themselves passing on their trade to their children, due to the constraints of the EU’s policies.

The CFP was seen as the bane of British fishermen’s lives before Brexit.

The policy was set up in the 1970s with the aim of sustainably managing stocks of the dozens of species that move between the waters of European nations.

Each year, EU ministers set overall catch limits.

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Given each country’s share of individual species was decided more than 40 years ago, fishing chiefs argued it was outdated.

Critics claim the agreement which allowed European boats to access UK waters decimated the country’s fishing industry.

Ms Jamet added: “In my region I have met fishermen who would be proud to pass on their boat and their knowledge to their sons and daughters.

“It is the completely blocked future prospects that the EU has imposed on them that really deters these new generations.

“It is enough to see how during the Brexit negotiations, the EU used fishing as a bargaining chip to satisfy a short-term European target, which contributed to further damaging the situation of fishermen in 2020.”

Calling for immediate changes, she said it was high time the EU woke up to how their rules are impacting fishermen everyday.

She added: “There is therefore an urgent need to act in favour of fishermen who must be considered for what they are: leading economic players essential for our food sovereignty.”

Ms Jamet is a member of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally.

Ms Le Pen will challenge French President Emmanuel Macron for his role in next year’s election and is already showing signs of being ahead in opinion polls.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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