Monday, 21 October 2013

The real CFP

Just how difficult is it to understand what the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is really about? Judging by pronouncements made by politicians, policy wonks, media "experts" and civil servants (though that may be with tongue firmly in cheek) difficult to the point of being impossible.

John Ashworth, who used to run Save Britain's Fish, sent this e-mail to Fishing News. So far it has not been published: It never ceases to amaze me how cunning the EU system is in hiding their real intentions. Ever since 1982 when the first derogation from the CFP expired, the system has always portrayed the temporary management arrangement as the CFP, and the present “Regional CFP” is no exception.

By using this clever wordage, the Fisheries acquis communautaire of equal access to a common resource without discrimination, which is the real CFP, is concealed as the EU Fisheries Directorate grapples over many years, complicated by a steady continual increase of nations joining the EU, to bring about the acquis through various management means by stealth.

The fishing issue has always been an excellent example of EU manipulation. As we approach the European, followed by the General election, and in turn pressure for an in/out EU referendum, watch the number of times the word “Reform“ is used. The question is what is being reformed, and how, because as in Fisheries, reforming the temporary management arrangement, which most people are being led to believe is the CFP, is no solution, because whatever is devised, and what you think you have reformed, the direction is still to accomplish the acquis.

The decimation of the British Fishing Industry has, and is, taking place solely because of the acquis communautaire. After all these years it is still not fully understood, which is why the EU system gets away with the continual advancement to full political union, and those following a "reformist agenda", without tackling the question of the acquis are furthering that advancement.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Baltic fishing rights

European Voice reports that

European Union fisheries ministers meeting in Luxembourg on Thursday (17 October) are expected to agree on the distribution of rights to fish in the Baltic Sea in 2014.

There is, however, to be another item on the agenda:

The ministers will also discuss the annual consultations between the EU and Norway on their bilateral fisheries agreement, which is likely to encompass the ongoing fishing dispute over mackerel with Iceland.

There has been a great deal on this blog about the bullying of Iceland and the Faroe Islands. There is no need to repeat any of that for the time being. However, it is interesting to note in the light of the argument about the size of catches and whether, as both the Icelanders and the Faroese insist, there has been an increase in the amount of fish available, that

Last week, the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), an independent scientific organisation, issued recommended mackerel catch levels for 2014 of 889,886 tonnes, a 64% increase from 2013, based on the fact that the stock has expanded north-west towards Iceland. Based on this migration, Iceland has begun unilaterally increasing its fishing, but the EU has threatened sanctions. Iceland welcomed the ICES report.

What exactly is the EU's argument and why is Britain supporting it, given the facts? Come to think of it, does Britain have the right not to support it as long as the common fisheries policy remains in place?

Monday, 7 October 2013

The reshuffle

Richard Benyon who was responsible for the fisheries policy has left his position. Paul Goodman on ConHome says:

The Government is losing good, solid, experienced Ministers. Richard Benyon, Simon Burns, Mark Hoban, Mark Prisk…these are all Ministers who have either been at their brief or on the front bench for a long time, and know their stuff. It’s a brutal fact of political life that most Ministers are sacked sooner or later. This will be scant consolation to the “innocents”, as they’ve been called, who’ve done nothing wrong.

Whether all who have had to deal with the fisheries issue would agree with that assessment of Benyon's activity is questionable. More as it comes in.

15.57 He is being replaced by George Eustice, MP for Camborne and Redruth. We need to wait for his first pronouncements to be able to judge how he intends to proceed.

16.15 Apparently Dan Rogerson MP for North Cornwall has also been appointed to DEFRA though that does not seem to have percolated to the media yet. That leaves two places on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee at the House of Commons.