David Levy – Who believes in management control – does Defra? -Aug 15

Without structured EU-wide enforcement which is agreed to by the contracted countries, the delivery of change is purely in the hands of the company-owned industrial fishing ships, and the small-scale operators to a lesser degree.

That means we are reliant on the integrity of individuals who know that they are generally out on the high seas on their own.

Placed before them are opportunities to exploit diminishing fish stocks with a management system that is so fragmented. They land their catch all over Europe, with no collation of data that is accurate. Some will be responsible of course, and others criminal.

That is why Marinet knows that for all the pontification by Europe that it wants change this is proving to be just words, with no real will to actually deliver effective change along with the long-term recovery of this most valuable food basket.

Indeed, the overall manner in which the government regulator and the fishing industry have demonstrated their ability to ignore the collapse of fish stocks is revealed by their failure to deliver real time change.

I am disappointed by those who sit around the table with Government because they have not been more vocal as to the failures to meet any urgent deadline. The buzz in the corridors of power is that when deadlines were being agreed Government in fact knew these deadlines would not be met.

In my opinion this attitude is callous, and partially the reason why other parties such as the fishing lobby have such a cavalier attitude too.

Defra may believe it is outside of its remit to take control, and to be a leading and guiding light for our nation.

In a way it is a major hole in the debate on whether the governance of our seas up to 200 nautical miles should be in our sovereign control.

Defra could be leading the debate by example, instead of promulgating the view that it sees management to be practised only within the confines of the CFP.

David Levy

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