I wonder how many RSA (Recreational Sea Anglers) are aware that across Europe, the fisheries sector systematically milks EU tax payers to the tune of an astonishing 1 + billion euros annually. Those of us who live close to commercial fishing ports have witnessed a constant stream of grants paid for new quay facilities, improvements to fishing boats, new ice plants, new market facilities etc.

Not only do we give free of charge access to public fishery resources to be sold for profit, we allow those resources to be unsustainably exploited so that future generations have far less ‘capital’. But we also support such profligate behaviour by picking up the tab for a large chunk of their overheads!

More details can be found at  http://fishsubsidy.org/  where you can learn that even vessels that have been guilty of black fish landings still pull down large EU funds from the European Fisheries Fund.

For decades, we’ve witnessed UK commercial fishers castigating the CFP, blaming all overfishing problems on it and calling for the UK to leave the CFP. Mr Farage plays to this tune regularly. But if push comes to shove, do UK commercials REALLY want out of the EU ???

Not only major ports like Newlyn, Plymouth, Brixham and Looe have benefited. Virtually every small harbour, even those with a handful of commercial boats left operating from them, have drawn down colossal sums for their infrastructure, frequently out of all proportion to the value of fish they land.

On the Oceana website we read:

For decades, EU fisheries subsidies have fuelled the growth of the EU fleet to a level estimated to be two to three times higher than what the ocean can sustainably provide and then artificially maintained the overcapacity of the fleet, driving the overfishing of our seas. Yet the vast majority of Europe’s fishing fleets is unprofitable and would not be able to operate without subsidies from Member States.

Link to page from which the above was taken: Subsidies: Overview

As illogical as all these grants are, and as one wag said; “the infrastructures in place that gives advise on and processes grant applications and deliver them, are actually employing more people than the fishing industry itself.  It’s a self perpetuating cancer.”

There is now a new dimension.

Fishermen are actually successfully getting grants from the EFF for their sports equipment!

Take a look at:  Seafood Cornwall

St Ives have been awarded £7,500 towards a new rowing gig!

This is madness running out of control.

I hear of cuts in the Health service, cuts in education and a whole range of services that the public rely on, put we still prop up unviable fishing businesses.

WHY?