Rye MP Amber Rudd called a public meeting with the Fisheries Minister in Hastings last week to discuss the challenges facing our local fishing fleet.
Rye fishermen were among over 50 who attended to discuss the realignment of quota to the under ten metre boats and the discard ban which will soon come into place.
Amber commented: “There were some good points that came from the meeting. The Minister announced that there would be a permanent realignment of Fixed Quota Allocation to the Under 10s from next year, and there will be an uplift in quota for the inshore fleet to take account of the discard ban.
“But there is clearly much, much more work to be done to deliver a fairer deal for fishermen.
“I am determined to deliver the changes that fishermen in Rye and Hastings need. With the new landing obligations, we need to ensure fishermen can benefit with more quota as a result of the discard ban while also fishing sustainably.
“Defra are currently consulting on the implementation of this and it is really important that the views of fishing fleets like ours are taken on board.
That’s why I invited the Minister to hear local views. “While the Minister was positive about changes in the long term I am pressing him for more action now. We need more quota this year, and our fishermen cannot wait until next year.”
Paul Joy, Chairman Hastings Fishermen’s Protection Society and co-chair NUTFA said, “It was good to see the Minister getting to grips with the on- going problem of lack of quota for the inshore sector.”
Fisheries Minister, George Eustice said: “The fishing community makes a valuable contribution to the region’s economy. We know they have felt for some years that they don’t have enough quota.
“That is why, having listened to fishermen here and industry experts, we are consulting on an uplift in quota and providing more fishing opportunities.”