Rye fishermen lose out as Euro MP’s reject plan

Skinner fish

Skinner fish

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EURO MP’s have rejected a fish labelling change that would have benefitted Rye fishermen and consumers claims MEP Peter Skinner.

Mr Skinner voted to support an amendment that would have enabled shoppers to know the date their fish was caught, rather than just when it was landed.

But he says local Conservative MEPs co-operated with the right of centre majority in the European Parliament to vote down the amendment.

A recent survey conducted by the magazine “Which?” showed that eight out of ten British consumers want to know the date their fresh fish is caught.

Peter Skinner says the move would have benefitted Rye’s under ten metre fishing boats, which go out on a daily basis and come back with smaller, but fresher, catches.

The rules agreed only tell you when the fish was landed in port, not when it was caught. Larger vessels often store fish for days before returning to port.

Peter Skinner said: “This would have been good for local fishermen and good for consumers.

“People like to know their fish is fresh but the rules agreed today won’t help you if you head to a local fish market or supermarket counter.

“We wanted to allow consumers to support the small-scale fishing boats in places like Rye.

“I wanted to see labels on fish in supermarkets that show the species name, the area the fish was caught or farmed, the production method and date of catch so consumers can make informed choices.”

Sarah Owen, Labour’s candidate for MP in Rye, said: “The big issue is always that our local fishing fleets never get a fair share of the quota which is divvied up by government, so anything that tips the balance back in the favour of our under 10 metre fishing fleet in Rye should have been welcomed.

“It is a real shame that this common sense solution couldn’t have been supported by all.”