David Levy – The World As We Know It – Sep 16

Every single day I am surprised by the manner in which we as a society have allowed corruption to dominate every facet of our lives. It is a statement by our politicians that a straight society cannot work, otherwise it would have been employed already.

What has become clear to me is that we expect government to deliver change but the agents of change are industry. If they are reluctant, then it will not happen.

Government sometimes offers incentives to new providers, but its dedication to change is fragmented and subsidies are often withdrawn, whilst larger industries can kill any scheme just by boycotting the technology. See wind technology and nuclear technology as a prime example of this.

It was said to me “God provides”, and when I check this statement I have to agree. Our island is surrounded by sea, wind and wave power and yet we have been incredibly slow in harnessing these gifts. We have failed to install an on-shore infrastructure around our island for offshore energy, in whatever form it may be.

What has this country invested in? Global companies, backed by their governments, providing for a large % of our energy needs. This rationale is short sighted, and fails every criterion for energy security in our hands.

What this reasoning leaves you with is a strong whiff of baksheesh/backhander, and because politicians often leave office with directorates who can guess where the smell comes from.

I come to the Brexit vote, and question whether we can gain a fresh chance from this decision.

The fishing industry is very clear what they want.

The problem is that the controlling voice in our fishing industry is foreign, and this voice and their companies retain lawyers to defend the positions we have given them/or they have bought.

They are the problem. Our quota — our fish — must be landed in British ports by British boats, and preferably by the small under 10 metre boats. This would deliver regional growth, a higher return for each fish landed, greater regeneration of the national fishing fleet, and finally more control over the fishing economic asset. We could even deliver those things we earlier signed up to, but did not deliver because others in the industry fought the change.

Fortunately there are those who realise that change is essential in order to deliver a stabilised fish stock, one which can support catch versus a sound breeding stock, and where the one doesn’t harm the other.

Such decisions can no longer reside with the industry, as they have fished our stocks to near extinction. This happened on their watch. Can the under 10 metre fleet be allowed to monitor stocks in a responsible manner? That is certainly a question that needs asking, and the answer can be seen in California where a fresh attitude exists from these fishermen.

Can that experience be transferred to our situation? With a positive approach from our Minister, it could.

The one area of continued concern is the free for all which governs the sea bass stock, and which has been targeted as a growth sector by European fishing fleets. The near collapse situation in this stock gives no grounds for hope beyond the draconian measures of territorial water protection.

Our Fisheries Minister, George Eustice MP, needs to come clean about his post Brexit position for our national asset, and how he proposes to protect and serve our nation by ensuring fish food security, doing so with the full might of the Government, and the understanding of a truly national fleet and the industry they serve.

David Levy


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