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Nick writes new Fisheries policy for the Lib Dems

January 11, 2010

Nick Perry, the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Hastings & Rye, has written a new policy for his party on the under-10 metre fishing industry.

The policy motion will first be debated at Lib Dem South East Region Conference, to be held in Guildford on 6 February. It has also been submitted for the party’s federal Spring Conference, which is to be held in Birmingham in March.

Nick said,

“I am hopeful that this motion will be passed, because I am determined that the Lib Dems will be the first political party to make a cast-iron, policy commitment to supporting the under-10 metre sector properly, and to ensure fairness within the industry.

“With the possibility of a hung Parliament as the outcome of the forthcoming General Election, Lib Dem party policy matters more than ever. It is actions not warm words that our fishermen need in order for their historic and valued trade to survive and prosper.”

The motion acknowledges the problems that the under-10 metre sector has had in its relationship with the Labour Government and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in particular. And it calls for:

• pro-active support to those fishermen who are able to demonstrate that their work is sustainable and environmentally responsible;

• a Fisheries Department which has a participatory approach to policy-making, and whose key policy-making forums ensure the proper representation of the under-10 metre sector;

• proper application of the Fixed Quota Allocations system and the underpinning of the under-10 metre sector by the agreed minimum floor levels;

• a review of allocation policy, completed in partnership with NUTFA, to decide how to administer the inshore sector; how best to divide quota between the inshore and other sectors; and come what may, the establishment of the right for the under-10s to form producer organisations as they deem necessary;

• a change of culture within fisheries management to promote localism and the devolution of decision-making to the lowest administrative level possible.

Paul Joy, Chair of the Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society and co-Chair of NUTFA (New Under Ten Fishermen’s Association) said,

“From a Hastings and a NUTFA perspective, we welcome the advances made by the Liberal Democrats on a constructive policy that looks at the disadvantages faced by the inshore sector; the introduction of the Register of Buyers & Sellers; and the initial lack of quota which has been allocated to the inshore fleet.

“What we want is fairness. If we don’t get a fair proportion of quota, we are looking at the destruction of the inshore fisheries sector”, Paul said.

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