Conservatives have voted in favour of removing the sustainability clause from the UK Fisheries Bill
The Conservative Party has voted to remove the “sustainability clause” from the UK Fisheries Bill at the Fisheries Bill Committee today.
The Minister with responsibility for Fisheries, Victoria Prentis, had signaled earlier in her opening remarks that she was in favour of British fishing but the Labour Party wanted sustainability to be the prime fisheries objective of the new Fisheries Bill but the Tory party members at the committee voted to remove the clause from the Bill.
Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, Luke Pollard tweeted “Tories out vote Labour to remove sustainability from the Fisheries Bill the prime driver of fisheries management. What a terrible message to send to fishers and the nation.”
In his opening speech, Mr Pollard said “Sustainability must be the prime consideration of this Bill because although there is a good sound logic to say all objectives are equal, there is one simple truth, that if we overfish the fish in our seas, there won’t be enough fish left in our seas for a fishing industry to exist at all. And that is why sustainability has to be the prime objective of the Bill.”
“We have to manage our fishing at sustainable levels.”
North Oxfordshire and Parliamentary Secretary of State at DEFRA, Victoria Prentis said “The Fisheries Bill already contains a robust framework of reporting and review requirements in the Bill that will, we feel, provide sufficient information against which inform a drive progress against the fisheries objective.”
Labour’s Stephanie Peacock also added her voice in objection to the removal of the clause.
She said “Healthy fish stock has been proven to create a more resilient and productive ecosystem and that leads to increased long-term catches and greater industry profits. For the sake of our coastal communities which rely on our UK fishing industry and the thousands of jobs it creates, not just on the boats but in the processing, logistics and food services we must make sure that sustainability is our main objective.”