David Levy – The Continuing Story of the Extermination of the UK Sea Bass Stock – May 19

If ever there was a story of such depression it’s the exploitation of the UK Sea Bass stock.

Not so long ago, this was a fishery so abundant that it was not even part of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy. Then as more traditional fish stocks were decimated by countries with scant regard for EU quotas, commercial boats turned their attention towards this pristine sea anglers’ stock. So began the downward spiral that has led to the near collapse of the now regulated breeding-stock.

You may well think that if it is regulated it is in safe hands, but the local SW IFCA (Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority) has recently been scolded for allowing illegal catches to be landed and sold with impunity by the boat owners who are responsible, yet not accountable.

I have sat in innumerable meetings at DEFRA and beyond with representatives of the fishing industry where they say “ we are responsible people and we know how to manage our seas”. Bertie Armstrong is such an advocate. I have fought for regulation which is fully established in law, but it is not enforced and all I see is the reckless extermination of fisheries in the name of greed.

DEFRA and the MMO are bureaucracies, rubber stamping illegality with scant regard for the long term planning of our nation’s food security strategy. We invest such trust in these paid individuals; but their leadership see their role as facilitators only, with business as usual. It’s a crime.

Spotlight the sea bass stock. Here you see a classic example of the irresponsibility of an industry that has historic rights on one side for the fishermen, but the need to plan and enforce fish food security for the nation.

Richard Benyon MP, ex-Minister of DEFRA (FISHERIES), promised reform. Yet he turned into a jellyfish of inaction and the situation, despite all the rhetoric, has degraded for nearly all our fish stocks.

This demonstrates the complete disregard and disconnect those in power have for future generations and which is ably alluded to by Extinction Rebellion and the younger generation.

David Levy

 


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