The Common Fisheries policy: A Three-Way Disaster

The EU common fisheries policy is a classic example of one of those European policies which nobody can justify, and yet nobody can significantly change. 
The Common Fisheries Policy over decades has been a disaster for consumers, who have seen the price of fish go up dramatically; a disaster for the industry, both onshore and offshore; and of course a disaster for North Sea fish stocks and for the environment.  At the same time, we have been investing European money in Spanish fishing fleets, and yet denuding the very seas in which they were intending to fish.  As a result, the European Union has been obliged to go to many other countries, including many countries in Africa, and strike deals with them, which allow European fleets to fish in their waters in exchange for funds paid to their governments.  We are all aware that there is a tendency for these funds to go for buying arms, or to be placed in Swiss bank accounts, enriching the venal leaders of those countries.  Very little of this money actually gets through to those people who truly need it. 
We are now in the process of going to these countries and over-fishing their waters, which results in impoverished local fishermen, who could have previously earned a decent living from fishing in their coastal waters but now suffer from a declining fish supply.  The outcome is that we actually reduce the living standards of ordinary people, and as a consequence, we face more demands for foreign aid to alleviate the poverty which we have helped to create. 
There is one final twist; one final bitter irony in the way we deal with these matters.  What we have actually managed to create is a whole class of North African fisherman who can no longer use their boats for fishing.  So of course these fisherman look for alternative employment, and the alternative employment that many of them have found is ferrying illegal immigrants from North Africa to Europe. 
In one policy or group of policies we have not only paid a great deal of money to these countries in order to obtain their fishing rights, but we have also created future, bigger bills for foreign aid.   On top of which we have also created the fleet which is now bringing a vast number of illegal African immigrants to Southern Europe.  If you wanted an example of the unintended consequences of a policy that is absolutely disastrous in every area it touches, there is no greater example than the European Unions Common Fisheries Policy.

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4 Responses to The Common Fisheries policy: A Three-Way Disaster

  1. Float says:

    I agree that this is a problem but is there really any soultion that will work?

  2. Tony Smith says:

    The CFP has to beattacked from the bottom of the problem. The problem was instigated by the Conservative Government under the disasterous leadership of that British Traitor, PM Edward Heath who signed us up to the EU CFP.
    Solution to the problem, apart from arresting Heath for treason against the State, is to exit the EU that holds the reins to the CFP. There is no way that Britain will ever be able to negotiate our British fishing waters back for Britain while we are up against 26 other nations that want to dip into British reserves. Isn’t it bad enough that we have massive unsustainable immigration to this already over-populated Island that provides benefits at the slightest whisper of the word, “asylum” to have to have all and sundry taking our fish as well. France, for instance takes 7 times more of our fish than our own fishermen are allowed to do.
    Britain is best ruled by British people, not unelected Commissioners in Brussels. Why, oh why, did our British forces & millions of Allies die in two World Wars to stop Continental invasion of our island when, our government now allows the invasion to take place by the back door. We are governed by Myopic morons and the sooner we get rid of them and vote for UK Independence the better for Britain……and our fish reserves.
    ppc Battle & Bexhill
    UK INdependence Party

  3. serife says:

    brilliant article, i totally agree.

    This policy has been disastrous since the beginning. The irony is that, the more restrictions imposed on fishermen and countries, the more they are inclined to fish. It encourages the fishermen to over fish because of the uncertainty about quotas. Also allocating funds to the fishermen to modernize their fleet enabled them with the state of art technology which makes over fishing easier. This is a two sided coin and very sad.

  4. Pingback: Supporting Hugh’s Fish Fight « Roger Helmer MEP

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