Government Minister petitions himself

Last edited 19 November 2015 at 9:31am
19 November, 2015
Fisheries Minister George Eustice will today receive a petition signed by himself, calling on himself to implement the measures George Eustice believes that George Eustice should take in redistributing fishing quota to small, sustainable, fishing vessels.

In April, during Greenpeace and NUTFA’s “Coastal Champions” boat tour promoting local fishing, which stopped in 25 coastal communities around England and Wales, George Eustice joined 120 then-parliamentary candidates in signing up to an action plan which called on the Government to reallocate fishing quota from large industrial vessels to local, low-impact, boats in order to create jobs in coastal economies and improve fish stocks.

The petition comes just a week ahead of a judicial review hearing where Greenpeace will argue that the Government has failed to implement the EU’s reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which emphasises environmental criteria in the allocation of fishing quota.

Low-impact vessels represent almost 80% of the English and Welsh fishing fleet, but receive a mere 6% of the quota, with the vast majority given to less sustainable industrial vessels.

Whilst recently announcing some short-term concessions to small-scale fishers, the Government has largely refused to change its allocation process since the reform of the CFP in 2013, despite fighting alongside Greenpeace for those reforms.

As George Eustice has so far failed to heed to his own advice, Greenpeace is delivering his petition to him using the same boat on which he sat to sign up, along with the thousands of other signatories from coastal communities, including fishermen and other Conservative MPs, as a reminder of the importance of creating coastal jobs and protecting the marine environment through the promotion of local fishing.

Rukayah Sarumi, Oceans Campaigner at Greenpeace said:

‘The UK should be creating thousands of jobs in coastal communities – from Cornwall to Grimsby and beyond – by giving small-scale fishers a fair share of the pie.

‘Politicians are always happy to talk to the talk when an election’s coming up – but it’s often a different story when they get into power. The Conservatives made a manifesto commitment to give a fair deal to local fishermen. And George Eustice – who is well aware of these issues as an MP for a coastal constituency – knows what a huge impact reinvigorating local fishing industries could have in coastal communities.

‘It’s time that the Fisheries Minister listened to his old self.’

Notes to Editor

  • The petition hand-in will take place today, Thursday 19 November, at DEFRA, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR:
    • 10.20am – photocall with boat and fishermen at rear entrance to DEFRA.
    • 11am – photocall of petition hand-in at front entrance to DEFRA.
  • Greenpeace and NUTFA’s “Coastal Champions” boat tour stopped in 25 coastal constituencies in England and Wales in the run-up to the general election in May 2015.
  • Over 120 MPs and parliamentary candidates signed up as Coastal Champions – backing a Coastal Action Plan, which included calls to:
    • Redistribute quota to the under-10m sector
    • Restore fish stocks
    • Protect the marine environment
    • Prioritise access for low-impact fishermen in the UK’s 0-12 nautical mile zone
    • Regionalise fisheries management
  • George Eustice backed the plan at the tour finale in Hayle, in his constituency of Camborne, Redruth and Hayle. Photos of the George Eustice at the Hayle event are here:
  • Photos from today’s petition hand in will be available in this same Dropbox folder by approximately 1.30pm:
  • The judicial review will take place in the High Court on Tuesday 24 November and Wednesday 25 November. For more info, see:

For interviews and further information, contact: Luke Massey – 07973 873 155 – 

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