Local MP for Hastings and Rye, Sally-Ann Hart, has been working with Ministers in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to ensure the new Fisheries Bill secures protections and support to local fishing communities.
Sally-Ann has been working on behalf of local fishermen to ensure that as the UK leaves the European Union and takes back control of the UK’s territorial fishing waters, the 12 nautical miles off the coast of the UK is only used in the future by UK fishing crews and no foreign vessels will be granted licences to fish in these waters.
Last night in the final debate on the Fisheries Bill, Sally-Ann secured this vital reassurance for local fishermen, in a win for fishing communities all over the UK.
Responding to this, Sally-Ann said, “I am delighted that after weeks of discussions with the Department on this matter, the Minister last night could confirm that the 12 mile nautical zone off the coast of the UK will be sovereign to our fishing fleets, and vessels from other countries will not be allowed to fish in these waters or be given licences in the future. These waters will be available to UK fishing vessels only. This is fantastic news for the fishing communities in Hastings and Rye.”
The Fisheries Bill is the first of its sort in the UK for over forty years and will bring to an end the Common Fisheries Policy of the European Union that the UK has been member of. The Bill will support the UK fishing industry into the future providing it with a sustainable and financially viable outlook. Moreover, the Bill brings in environmental protections and enhancements for coastal regions and marine environments.
The key to this Bill is the sovereignty of the UK fishing waters, and in response to the reassurance secure by Sally-Ann, Paul Joy of the Hastings Fishing Fleet said “It’s good to see the Government is not backing down and to see that the 12 mile limit is now sacrosanct for British fishermen only. The new limit will be extremely beneficial to the fishing industry, especially here in Hastings”
Speaking after the vote Sally-Ann continued, “I want to thank Paul Joy, Keith Chapman and many others in the fishing communities in Hastings and Rye, who have done so much to weather the storms of recent decades as the CPF has inflicted such hardship and frustration on their livelihoods and communities. I am delighted that this Bill brings this to an end, and we have the security and reassurance from Government that for our under-10 metre fishing fleets we have the control and sovereignty over our 12 mile fishing waters. This is a good day for UK fishing.”