Tag Archives: UK

Privatizing the sea: How private corps stole the sea from the commons

Since 1945, when the US unilaterally asserted ownership of the continental shelf and parts of the high seas around its shores, much of the ‘blue commons’ has been converted into private property. In 1982, UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) endorsed the biggest enclosure in history, granting countries exclusive economic zones (EEZs) that extended 200 nautical miles from their coastlines. This set in train procedures and institutional mechanisms that have expanded privatisation and financialisation to all parts of the marine economy. It also cemented neocolonialism, granting ex-imperial countries such as the US, France and the UK millions of square miles around lands far from their shores — their so-called ‘overseas territories’. >click to read< 09:18

Cornwall ice cream man and fisherman devastated by fuel price crisis

Record-high fuel prices are deeply affecting businesses across Cornwall. Reaching almost £2 in multiple stations, various business owners have shared the impact it has taken on their businesses. Fisherman Peter, from St Mawes, said he can no longer afford to go to sea as the price of fuel has risen from 30 per cent to 50 per cent of his daily expenditure, which has reached as high as £270 a day for diesel. He said that it is not possible for his catch to cover such a rise, forcing him to give up his livelihood and security. “I have no income, full stop,” he said. “Fear is if you’re at sea for 14 hours a day, and everyone who knows boats knows they’re expensive to run. If you have a breakdown and have to replace parts on a winch then suddenly it’s a step back before you know it. >click to read< 12:01

Ex-Hull fishermen tell Nigel Farage UK has ‘never won an argument over fishing’

Former Hull fishermen have revealed their frustration to Nigel Farage following Brexit. Under a post-Brexit trade deal, UK boats need licenses to fish in waters of EU member states, while EU countries also need similar licenses to fish in UK waters. Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously vowed to “do whatever is necessary” to protect UK fisheries when negotiating, but has since received backlash from the industry who feel let down by the deal. Ron Wilkinson, chairman of fishing charity Stand-Hull Heritage, sat alongside vice chairman Vic Wheeldon, and claimed that the UK “has never won an argument over fishing” as the pair’s anger over the Brexit deal was clear to see. >click to read< 10:50

Watching Wind And Solar Fail To Power The World Economy

You don’t have to be any kind of a genius to figure out that wind and solar generation are never going to supplant fossil fuels in powering the world economy. Thankfully the U.S., home of fracking, has mostly been spared the huge natural gas price spikes that have befallen Europe and Asia. If the dopes occupying the White House and leading the Congress had their way, we would be suffering the fate of those places and worse. And oil? It’s suddenly trading at $80 and more per barrel, the highest price since 2014. >click to read< 11:28  U.K. Turns to Coal as Low Wind Output Increases Power Prices – U.K. power prices rose after a coal power plant switched on Monday to make up for a shortfall in wind generation and limited flows on two power cables to Ireland. >click to read< 14:32

Divide and Conquer – With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies

Try and imagine a campaign by environmental NGOs to end the use of ploughs in agriculture, on the basis that it’s damaging to the biodiversity of rural regions and wrecks natural habitats. The immediate question would be what effect such a limitation would have on the availability of food. Turn it around and apply that question to demersal trawling, and nobody in authority or at any ENGO seems to equate fish with food. Fishing in Europe (and the UK, where the political climate in this respect remains much the same) has been under a wholesale assault from organisations that have little love for fishermen, yet the fishing industry itself remains at odds with itself, frequently doing the work of fishing’s opponents for them. The tactics are now familiar, pick as a target a relatively small sector over which there are already deep divisions within the industry, and go from there to deepen the divides, play on old enmities and appeal to long-held prejudices, and nurture the tall poppy syndrome.  >click to read< 12:54

Cornish fisherman can’t swim on Brexit, Coronavirus. and 50 years at sea

Coronavirus for the shellfish export capital of the UK Newquay, hit pretty hard, Phil Trebilcock said, but thanks to a wave of ‘buy local’ sentiment, they were kept going. “It has not been too bad for us, because what this Covid has done is a lot of people, I’ll give the public their due, have been supporting locals. Brexit, for Phil, has not hit as hard as other fishermen, some of whom accused the government of turning its back on them with the withdrawal agreement. After starting out in 1964, aged just ten, he caught his first mackerel and crabs to sell at Newquay Harbour. photos, click to read<15:40

Undersea cable owner seeks injunctions against trawler operators

The owners of two transatlantic communication under sea cables are seeking High Court injunctions preventing fishing boat owners from trawling near their property. The action has been brought by GTT Communications Inc and related entities Hibernia Express Ireland Ltd and Hibernia Atlantic Cable System Limited which run between Ireland, the UK, and Canada. The companies claim that the owners of several fishing vessels have been trawling in the waters near the cables. This it is claimed, poses a high risk of damage to the cables. >click to read< 14:06

UK fishermen mock ‘laughable’ EU demand to extend Common Fisheries Policy for a year

In a statement this morning, Ms MacDonald made clear EU vessels landed 10 times more fish from UK waters than UK vessels do from theirs. It comes EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier stressed a trade deal between the UK and European Union was still possible Talks were extended on Sunday after Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen agreed to continue the process despite major differences still remaining. For months, the talks have been deadlocked on the issues of fishing rights which have plagued fishing chiefs as well as state aid and the level playing field. >click to read< 11:59

Efforts to Break Deadlock Continue, Kilmore Quay Outlines its Fears – Last-ditch post-Brexit trade talks to resume between EU, UK

As efforts continue to agree a final Brexit deal, two Wexford fishermen have outlined on RTÉ Radio Countrywide how devastating loss of access to British waters will be. “Brexit is going to affect every port and harbour where fishing is the lifeblood of communities,” Will Bates (43), a third-generation fisherman,, Video, >click to read< 12:57

Last-ditch post-Brexit trade talks to resume between EU, UK – European Union and British negotiators Sunday entered what is potentially the final attempt to strike a deal over future trade ties, even though “significant differences remain” on three essential points. With less than four weeks remaining before the Jan. 1 cutoff day, >click to read<

Fishing: The Great Betrayal

The Common Fisheries Policy began as a land (or rather, sea) grab, evolved into a stitch-up and grew into an environmentally devastating and commercially disastrous scandal. The EU, UK government and avaricious commercial interests are all to blame – and we’re far from being out of the woods yet. >click to read<  18:57

Jimmy Buchan warns no-deal Brexit ‘will hurt’ Scottish fishing industry

The warnings come just days after the final round of scheduled talks between London and Brussels broke off, with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier accusing his opposite number, David Frost, of not showing “any true will” to reach a deal. Since the outset of negotiations the EU has demanded “status quo” access to UK waters, which would essentially mean a continuation of the common fisheries policy, something that has been categorically rejected by Boris Johnson. Jimmy Buchan, chief executive of the Scottish Seafood Association, told the Commons environment committee that, despite the differences, a deal must be done “no question”. >click to read< 16:57

British fishermen should be able to double their catch in UK waters under new deal with EU

The intervention has come as fishing rights look set to dominate the fourth round of talks on a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU. The country’s fishermen’s federations said they backed the UK Government’s uncompromising stance in ruling out any extension to the transition period, which ends in December, saying any further delay to leaving the hated Common Fisheries Policy[CFP] would only prolong the uncertainty that the sector had suffered since the 2016 EU referendum.  >click to read< 12:48

 Boris fires back at EU’s ‘wishful thinking’ amid fears UK ready to surrender on fishing – Boris Johnson’s official spokesman stepped in amid reports of a potential compromise agreement over future access to the UK’s territorial waters. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, has signalled he is ready to give ground on his “maximalist” position that calls for the same level of access to UK waters as in the Common Fisheries Policy. The Frenchman could agree to a Norway-style fisheries treaty, with annual negotiations on quota shares and access,,, >click to read<

Distraught UK fishermen face wipe out over coronavirus and EU

The British fishing industry could be “wiped out” because of the coronavirus outbreak keeping fishermen from selling their products to the wider public. The British and Scottish Governments have both issued guidance and rolled out new policies in a bid to help the fishing industry survive the crisis but fishermen have warned their policies may not be enough. Scottish trawler Alistair Sinclair told the Today programme: “We don’t really know what is ahead of us. “There’s no light at the end of the tunnel. We may get to the point where boats are of little value. “Everything we’ve worked for through our life to get where we are today could be erased like rubber on a piece of paper.” >click to read< 07:21

An inspiration behind the Brexit campaign – Tributes paid to North-east fishing stalwart Tom Hay

Hundreds gathered in Peterhead on Saturday to pay tribute to ex-Fishermen’s Association Limited chair Tom Hay, who died on March 8. John Ashworth, leader of Save Britain’s Fish and FFL, said: “I knew Tom through business (although not that well) before we joined forces through the Save Britain’s Fish campaign. It all started 28 years ago when representatives of the Scottish Industry came down to York for a training meeting. “I met them at the railway station and took them to their Hotel. Later I spoke to them all about my concerns for our industry. “From that day Tom commenced a journey of outstanding leadership and courage against all odds. >click to read< 13:59

The sad passing of Tom Hay – An inspiration behind the Brexit campaign

Fishing For Leave has paid tribute to industry stalwart Tom Hay who has died followiong a year’s fight with dementia. Save Britain’s Fish and Fishermen’s Association Limited’s ex-chair Tom died on Sunday, March 8 with his funeral taking place in Peterhead on Saturday. >click to read< 15:32

As both sides crank up the rhetoric, UK to outline post-Brexit trade vision. France warns both sides could ‘rip each other apart’

The UK is expected to contest the bloc’s demands that Britain stick closely to EU rules in exchange for access to European markets. It comes as France has warned that the two parties risk tearing themselves apart during the talks,, On Sunday the French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian used strong language while predicting that tense negotiations lie ahead.,, The EU wants to keep access to British waters for European fishing boats, and leaders have suggested the issue will be linked to other matters such as financial services in the upcoming talks. >click to read< 08:46

Small-scale fishing families are under threat.

In the UK their vessels make up 80% of the nation’s fishing fleet yet they receive only 4% of the total national fishing quota. On the other side of the Atlantic, Newfoundland fisheries have been downsized in response to fisheries closures in the early 1990s. In both locations people who depend upon this industry have been left vulnerable. This includes thousands of women who are vital to the survival of small-scale fishing businesses. To explore and raise their profile, Women in Fisheries’ research project will examine women’s roles, identities and wellbeing in fishing families. >click to read<11:00

Minister calls for clarity on post-Brexit fishing industry ahead of crunch talks

The UK Government is being urged to “come clean” on its plans for the fishing industry after Brexit as ministers prepare for “difficult” quota talks. Holyrood Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said all parties must work together in the run-up to crucial European fishing talks in December. He claimed uncertainty over what will happen when the UK leaves the European Union was being compounded by “confusion” from the UK Government over any transition period. The talks in Edinburgh on Friday, which also include representatives from the Welsh and Northern Irish administrations, are “an opportunity to show we are all fully focused on the needs and interests of our respective fishing industries,” he added. click here to read the story 18:32

Fisheries Minister George Eustice announces new protections for lobster stocks

New protections to improve the long-term sustainability of England’s shellfish industry and support the next generation of fishermen have been announced by Fisheries Minister George Eustice. From Sunday (1 October), fishermen will no longer be able to land egg-bearing (‘berried’) lobsters and crawfish in English waters – a move that will protect the species until their eggs have hatched. The UK is leading the way in Europe in providing this new protection for shellfish – with a proposal for similar action to ban the landing of berried lobsters across the EU currently in discussion. click here to read the story 11:16

World Wide Phenomenon – Fishermen in the South West braced for damaging cut in EU quotas

EU Quota cuts, UKJim Portus, chief executive of South Western Fish Producer Organisation, said “things were looking pretty bad” and blamed Government cuts to the number of research voyages which he claimed had not correctly assessed fish stocks. European fisheries policy sets quotas to achieve what it calls Maximum Sustainable Yield – essentially the point at which fishing would not affect whether a species could thrive.  Read more here 06:35

European Commission proposes fishing opportunities in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2015

The European Commission has today proposed fishing opportunities for 2015 for the Atlantic and the North Sea. This is the annual proposal for the amount of fish which can be caught by EU fishermen from the main commercial fish stocks next year and it is for the first time based on the new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Read the rest here 11:31

Another fishing industry bashing article – this time it’s fuel subsidy

Here are some excerpts from the recent Guardian’s fuel subsidy article: “Fuel subsidies ‘drive fishing industry’s plunder of the high seas’ Spain, France, UK, US and Japan among countries giving generous fuel subsidies enabling industrial fishing far offshore, says Global Ocean Commission Read more here 10:06

Thai shrimp supplier dismisses alleged links to slave labour

Thai food giant Charoen Pokphand (CP) Foods fended off allegations it was complicit in forced labour (slavery) in its supply chain, levelled by a British newspaper, a report said Saturday. Read more here 11:50

Revealed: Asian slave labour producing prawns for supermarkets in US, UK

A six-month investigation has established that large numbers of men bought and sold like animals and held against their will on fishing boats off Thailand are integral to the production of prawns (commonly called shrimp in the US) sold in leading supermarkets around the world, including the top four global retailers: . Read more here  12:28

Are there ecological merits to trawling the seabed?

Trawling the seabed for fish is an environmental disaster; it wrecks ecosystems, destroys fish stocks and leaves behind a marine desert. Right? Environment campaigners say so. But there is growing evidence that the effect is sometimes very different, with trawling increasing fish stocks from the North Sea to the California coast. A new modelling study may for the first time have demonstrated why. [email protected]  06:44