Restore Britain's Fish (A New Hope)
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish is the famous line and book from British sci-fi writer, Douglas Adams, a comedy of sorts. Unfortunately the story of Britain's Fisheries is a tragedy. The original campaign Save Britain's Fish to remove the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) failed to save Britain's fish and indeed it's industry and hence the new campaign is now to "RESTORE" (Restore Britain's Fish) it from this politically inflicted disaster both on the industry and the natural resource that make up both sides of the Fisheries of Britain.
Wikipedia guide: The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP)
Map: Fisheries is a visibly significant British Resource; Norway and Iceland remained outside the CFP outside the EU; as EFTA/EEA members
To understand this, we must look at "White Paper, The United Kingdom and the European Communities" as per The Great Deception: The Great Fisheries Scandal, p.179:-
"There is no question of Britain losing essential national sovereignty; what is proposed is a sharing and an enlargement of individual national sovereignties in the economic interest."Under "Fisheries":-
"The Government is determined to secure proper safeguards for the British fishing industry. The Community has recognised the need to change its fisheries policy for an enlarged Community of Ten, particularly in regard to access to fishing grounds."
Britain's Fisheries: An expendable political chip
We compare the above communication to the people with the politicians negotiations on 30th June, 1970:-
"Furthermore, there was already international pressure for a major revision of the international law of the sea, to extend national control of fisheries to 200 miles (or the ‘median line’ between two nations). When this took place, the waters of the four applicants would contain well over 90 percent of western Europe’s fish, some 80 percent of the total in seas controlled by Britain."
LeaveHQ: Restore Britain's Fish
To quote John Ashworth at Campaign For An Independent Britain (Who is lead campaigner of both Save Britain's Fish in the 1990's and now again in the new campaign in conjunction with persons from the fishing industry and ancillary industries from all coastal areas from Cornwall to Shetland and Northern Ireland.):-
"Coming back to Britain’s Accession, the original six members, hours before the signed application for membership from the four was handed in, created Fisheries regulation 2140/70, which contained:"
The above shows Article 2 of the regulation as well as quote from Judgment of the Court, Cornelis Kramer and Others, Joined Cases 3, 4 and 6/76 (14 July 1976) with interpretation of the description of this Regulation within contention between "High Seas" vs "Sovereign Coastal Waters". It suggests that under the EEC/EU nations held 12-mile rights but under Article 2 gave up the full 200-miles rights to the community (number of members with equal rights to these British Sovereign Waters).
Sovereign Coastal Waters: 12-miles (EEC) vs 200-miles (UN)
EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE
Breadth of the exclusive economic zone
HM Government: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union Fisheries Report (Summer 2014)
Coming back to The Great Deception, it is recorded how various different approaches to finding a legal basis to the Treaty to enact "equal access to all members" was sought via numerous convoluted and tenuous possibilities within the existing Treaties, going back so as to The Treaty of Rome. Effectively the "fingerprints of such actions recorded" gave away the intention/motive of this regulation at it's inception:-
"On the basis of this evaluation, it was evident that the Treaty offered no justification for what was clearly being considered, and therefore any regulation enacting it would a legal base. Nevertheless, a regulation was drafted to define the ‘equal access’ principle, with the intention of placing it in the acquis before the four would-be entrants lodged their applications. It would then have to be accepted by them, without argument. By any measure or description, this was a trap, aimed at appropriating the applicants’ property in order to share it between the Community members." ~ The Great Deception, Christopher Booker and Richard North, p.180The next question to ask is: What is/was the effect of this on Britain's Fisheries; quoting FLEXCIT: Stage 4 - Restoring independent policies ~ 14.0 Fisheries, p.267:-
"The figures themselves told the story. In 1972, a total of 939,800 tons was landed by British vessels, compared with 145,850 tons landed by foreign vessels. Vessel numbers were then not accurately recorded (and nor indeed was the entire UK catch). But in 1995, we know that 9,200 fishing vessels landed 912,000 tonnes of fish– not a great difference, but then the CFP was only just beginning to bite."
"In 2002, however, after Commission effects to reduce the fishing effort, there were only 7,578 vessels, which landed 686,000 tonnes – a 25 percent reduction in catches over eight years."
"By 2012, the UK fleet had dropped to 6,406 vessels, comprising 5,032 ten-metre and under vessels and 1,374 over ten-metre vessels. Landings dropped to 627,000 tonnes, with a value of £770 million. But the real contrast came with the imports. In the same year, these reached 638,410 tonnes, valued at £2.6bn. Of that, £797 million came from the EU-27, a significant proportion of which were caught in UK waters."
"This provided a graphic illustration of the way the CFP worked. Access to fishing grounds had been dominated by political considerations, on the basis of "equal access" to what was defined as a "common resource"."
Common Fisheries Policy (CFP): Interpreting "Dolphin" for "Good-bye!"
This has been a tragic story; much like the self-inflicted EURO. But the story continues from John Ashworth is writing a weekly blog on this subject starting with The Common Fisheries Policy – Part 1 and continuing each Monday over the next few weeks at Campaign For An Independent Britain. If I've made any factual errors, please let me know: It's a very interesting area of the EU debate, which is hopefully conveyed in the above introductory (background) summary above.
The promises to people by the politicians motioning to join the EEC/EURO/EU or whatever next, have been proven to be great deceptions based on super-political logic that have damaged people's lives, damaged resources and damaged industries, we could end by saying, with respect to Fisheries:-
"It's The Same Kettle Of Fish."