Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Greenpeace supporting local Kent Fisheries

We are calling on all the local politicians in this area to show that they support sustainable fishermen and protection of our seas. We want to them to show their support by becoming a ‘coastal champion’ and signing a flag. We are bringing our fishing boat - Rising Tide - along the Kent Coast this week and inviting our parliamentary candidates to meet us and local fishermen. You can show your support and meet the politicians at the following places:

Hastings - 6pm on Wednesday 25th March at The Classroom-on-the-Coast, Rock-a-nore Road, Hastings.

Folkestone - 6pm on Friday 27th March at The Pullman Inn, 9 Church Street, Folkestone.

Ramsgate - 11am (Family fun day) on Saturday 28th March at Pier Yard, Off Marine Parade, Ramsgate

Whitstable - 6pm on Monday 30th March at The Hotel Continental, 29 Beach Walk, Whitstable.

In July 2014, we launched a joint coastal action plan ‘Championing coastal waters and communities’ which put in place Greenpeace and Nutfa (New Under Ten Metres Fishermen Association) priorities for implementation of the common fisheries policy. The action plan has five steps that we want the government to take:

  1. Reallocate quota to local, sustainable fishermen;
  2. Restore fish stocks;
  3. Protect the marine environment;
  4. Prioritise access for low impact fishermen in the 0 – 12 nautical miles territorial waters of the UK;
  5. Make sure small scale fishermen are represented on regional committees in Europe. 

We piled a lot of pressure on the fisheries minister, and many people from coastal communities got involved. Volunteers were active in Cornwall and collected an amazing 2,000 signatures on paper petitions. But in January the government failed to allocate the 2015 fishing quota along new environmental, social and economic criteria in the way required by European law, and instead it was business as usual.

There is a lot of buzz around the significance of coastal constituencies in the general election, since many are marginal. In many ways this is a good thing for us, since we want to make fishing, and the plight of sustainable fishermen, a key local election issue in the run up to the general election. The uncertainty in these constituencies means MPs and PPCs (prospective parliamentary candidates) are going to be keen to show voters that they’ll fight for their interests.

Please visit our boat - Rising Tide - in Hastings, Folkestone, Ramsgate and Whitstable and show your support for our fishing community.

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