Rye Observer Comment: Fishermen are suffering and putting themselves at risk

RYE MP Amber Rudd has been active in fighting for a better deal for Rye fishermen and continues to work hard on their behalf.

So have a series of successive MPs and herein lies the problem – this whole laborious process has stretched on for years and while the debates rumble on fishermen are suffering.

The whole quota and conservation issue is complex and convoluted but you do not need a degree in astro-physics to see the impact it is having.

How can any system which favours big commercial operators and makes it hard for small boat owners, many of who have fishing in their family for generations, be fair?

There have been a whole succession of schemes and relief measures aimed at improving the situation for the smaller boats but these have been no more than sticking plasters over an increasingly nasty wound.

We all know how important Rye’s fishing fleet is to the town – without it there would be no Scallop Festival and Rye’s restaurants would lose an important unique selling point.

Every day that passes our fishermen are suffering and putting themselves at risk in all weathers to earn a pittance.

Unless real sweeping reforms to the blatantly unfair quota system are introduced soon and measures put into place to protect the livelihood of fishermen, the demise of the local fishing industry will continue and could end up being irreversible.