I was pleased to have signed Greenpeace’s open letter to the Environment Secretary, supporting a ban on supertrawlers and other destructive fishing vessels from UK Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), as a first step towards wider protection. I commend the work of Greenpeace in raising this issue.
The Fisheries Bill contains a lack of detail regarding supertrawlers and MPAs, and it also fails to mention how fishers will be assisted in cutting down on the use of harmful plastics or adopting the use of greener technologies, both at sea and during processing.
There is also no statutory commitment for the sector to meet net-zero emissions and the bill fails to cover how the Government will stop foreign vessels from undercutting UK boats on safety or employment standards.
I am very concerned that destructive industrial fishing is still taking place in protected waters.
I was elected on a manifesto that committed to set maximum sustainable yields for all shared fish stocks, redistribute fish quotas along social and environmental criteria, and require the majority of fish caught under a UK quota to be landed in UK ports.
I am alert to the consequences for us, and our planet, if we do not do all we can to mitigate the damage already inflicted.
As such, I will continue to do all I can, in Parliament and beyond, to help protect our oceans, and the lives and communities that depend on safe, sustainable fishing practices.