A Wolf in Shrimp's Clothing

Last edited 4 February 2013 at 2:34pm
Publication date: 
4 February, 2013

A Wolf in Shrimp's Clothing: Exposing the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations

Traditional low-impact fishing is in crisis. These fishermen are the lifeblood of our coastal communities both across the UK and in many other European countries. They have been fishing responsibly for generations but are disappearing.

Meanwhile, big fishing businesses are still turning huge profits, while further fishing pressure is being put on our remaining fish stocks. EU fishing laws, which are supposed to support fishing communities and protect the seas, are failing to do either.

But there is a powerful trade body that represents our fishermen’s interests in Westminster and Brussels – the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations. It speaks for fishing interests large and small and puts their case to those who make the laws. Or so it claims. Yet Greenpeace has found that this body has been opposing changes to fishing policies, such as there alignment of fishing quota, which would help precisely the kind of small scale fishermen they claim to represent.

An in-depth investigation by Greenpeace into the reality behind the NFFO has revealed that itis not what it claims to be:

  • Over half of the member vessel’s gross tonnage of this supposedly‘national’ organisation is controlled by Spanish, Dutch and Icelandic fishing businesses.
  • The NFFO is falsely claiming that ithas more member associations than it does in reality. 11 out of the 20 Fishermen’s Associations listed on their website are either not currently members or do not even exist.
  • The NFFO represents vessels involved in illegal fishing, such as the O Genita, which is controlled by notorious Spanish fishing barons and was involved in one of the largest cases of illegal fishing in British maritime history.

Read on for more details about what we have discovered…

Ocean Inquirer Issue #05 / January 2013

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