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This is something that has always puzzled me. Many years back, when fishing quotas and time limits were impossed on our trawling fleets, I have struggled to understand how they are conserving our fish stocks. Obviously if the number of trawlers are limited then the amount of fish caught will drop, so conserving the stock. However how do you conserve say 'Cod' by throwing it back if you have taken your set quota. The fish is already dead so how is it conserving the species?
This applies to all fish. This came back to me when watching the 'Trawlerman' series. When one of the prawn boats had a situation when they would have to ditch all the fish as they were not allowed to catch above a set amount. All this fish was dead so how is that conservation.
When I was working we had a great deal of contact with the FPV's and also the Watchdog aircraft. I could never understand it then and I still cannot.
Over to you.
Hawkey01 (Cloud)
 

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The beaureaucrats and politicians in Brussels still get paid, as does Blair and co, the fish have no feelings and we the consumer pay for the wastage, so the only ones who suffer are the fishermen, and who cares about them.

Cynic, moi?
 

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The trouble is that those in authority are not able to think, nor are they able to use what little reasoning powers they have as human beings; they all have to perform to each other like some internal flea circus, that only the mindless can see in operation. It is as plain as a pikestaff that the dead fish which have to be thrown back do absolutely NOTHING to conserve fishstocks; but they have no answer, so they hide behind their chairbacks, as the play card games on their computers, only jumping to attention when someone phones or writes to help solve their crossword puzzle. Statistics can be manipulated to prove anything, yet the figures remain truthful to the intelligent. I regret to say that "bureaucratic intelligence" is a contradiction in terms. Leave it to those on the sea to work their own solution. I have been talking today with such men. As you may have guessed I have little time for mindless bureaucracy.
 

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Good question Hawey 01. And you are quite right John, this is just more beaurocratic madness that comes out of Brussels like straight bananas or tomatoes being exactly the same size etc?!. I read something a few weeks ago where farmers are ditching produce because it is not presentable for supermarkets under the same crazy rules, but perfectly good quality. I too have been watching the excellent Trawlerman series and just as bemused as you Hawkeye when the fishermen have to thow dead fish back into the sea if they are above their quota. Of course this is not conservation, and I am sure that trawlermen are as keen on conservation as anybody if policed correctly because proper conservation means that the livelyhoods of the next generation is not at threat rather than being greedy for today, and not looking at tomorrow. I suppose authorities have to act if fishermen exceed their quota, but surely these jobs-worth beaurocrats can overlook it if only slightly over. Not only is this a few extra quid for those who earn every penny they get, but more food for the shops instead of wasting it by throwing it overboard. Of course some will try it on by always being well over, but in this politically correct, and beaurocratic world, has common sense been totally eradicated?!. Briefly, on a different subject, a bus driver would not allow my granddaughter on the bus because her bus pass had a slight nick in it. I bought a hat writing Jobs Worth on it, then with the help of my grandaughter tracked him down and gave it to him. Perpaps we should all buy our politicians in Brussels, and others a hat?!!. David
 

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I agree Hawkeye01, could never understand fish quotas, as you point out, the fish are dead anyway.
I suggest that quotas are done away with, likewise net mesh sizes and let the fishermen get as much out of the sea while they can.

fred

"still not banged the door "
 

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Having worked for the Fishermens' Mission, I am very concious that quotas are a very touchy subject indeed. One has only to look at the Grand Banks to see how over-fishing of those rich fish stocks has left them now virtually non-existant. At the risk of upsetting some, I firmly believe, that in many ways we must all accept a share of the reponsibility for what is happening. I saw a European trawler not so long ago busily engaged in hoovering up sand eels, to be turned into pet dog food, which is simply taking out a layer of nature's food-chain. I also lived next door to a small family-run wet fish shop for many years with the Father and son fishing whilst the Wife sold the catch in the shop and it was perfectly adequate in serving its local community. Today, however, just look at what is available in any Supermarket throughout the country and ask yourself as to whether this exploitation is sustainable. I am sure I will get shot down over this but to me the answer is for fishermen and scientists to sit down together and to pool their expertise without interference from politicians. I find it hard to believe that the faceless wonders who have not the faintest idea of what fishing is about, can honestly believe that their policy of throwing dead fish back can be seen as some sort of conservation. It is a very serious situation both for the livelehood of our fishermen and for future generations and I am sure the only way it can be resolved is for the politicians to stop meddling and leave it to the experts to find the answers that are needed.
Peter4447 (Night)
 

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But that would leave nothing for future generations Fred if fishermen got as much out of the sea as they could by having mesh nets so small that they catch the young as well. That would be a fast route to total extinction of all species. Yes, it is crazy throwing fish back into the sea that are dead anyway just to satisfy silly rules. But it would be equally as crazy not to have quota's if sensibly controlled by throwing live fish back if too small. Having small nets that catch everything and throwing nothing back, even if live is pure madness. Doing so would mean our grandchildren and their children have nothing to eat if we fish our seas to extinction in this era. Now that really would be irresponsible and shortsightedness of the highest order. I have a 5 year old great grandson, and I really do fear for his future if our attitude is for today, not caring about tomorrow. Peter447 is right, policitians should stop meddling and leave it to experts in the fishing industry to come up with an answer for this and future generations. David
 

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My earlier comment was meant as a cynical jibe at faceless suits. However, on a serious note:-

I doubt that more than a very few people dissagree with some policy of conservation. The crime as I see it is to throw dead fish back. I know that some people, even fishermen will attempt to exploit any loophole in pursuit of profit. Both my son and my son in law have served in the Andrew on Fishery protection vessels (The beloved Island class) and have many stories of rogue fishermen. Our waters should be robustly policed, and offenders dealt with. It is true that many types of contraband, drugs etc, are destroyed having been seized. However, many other types, alcohol etc are recycled to the benifit of us all. I do not see why fishermen who return to their ports with fish which they should not have, which could be described also as contraband, cannot be dealt with more sensibly. Those who have genuinely caught the wrong species could perhaps have it taken off their legitimate quota on a pro rata basis. Those rascalls who regularly or persistantly 'accidently' catch the wrong species can be dealt with in some other way. Undoubtadly some rogue fishermen will dump fish to destroy evidence of their incompetence, but these should, if and when caught, be dealt with by the authorities.

I believe that by and large fishermen are an admirable bunch of hard working men trying to make a very hard living in the face of beaureaucracy, much like farmers.

My underlying point is that to encourage, require or accept that fishermen deliberately dump catches is criminal.

John Trem
 

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I think its a little simplistic to blame the politicians for everything, they do take advice from so called experts and quite often it is the experts that come up with the solutions that the politicians get blamed for.
 

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I take your point Jeff, but I put politicians, bereaucrats and so called experts into the same category. They get paid whatever the outcome of their policies.

John Trem
 

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You are right Jeff, politicians do take advice from so-called experts often taking wrong advice then taking the blame for it. I can only speak with authority on the medical profession, and politicians I have spoken to personally including two former Prime Ministers. They try very hard to understand professions when making important decisions. But those decisions are often based on information given for political ends on behalf of the person giving it. So when it goes wrong, the politician is blamed because they lacked the knowlege of that profession to realise that the infomation given was not correct. I saw this every day in the medical profession where decisions were made in good faith, but results there for all to see. So I would assume that the fishing industry and indeed all others is no different. David
 

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David and Jeff, I too have had dealings with senior politicians, and have been consulted as an 'expert' in a particular field. Whilst my experience is only relevant to the individuals with whom I dealt, I formed the opinion that they had already made up their mind, (which in this instance was contrary to ours) and only consulted us 'experts' in order that when legislation regarding this subject was subsequently changed, in this instance to appease popular opinion, they could list 'experts' whom they had consulted. My experience of life has made me cynical about 'the system', however I have to confess that I do not currently have an alternative.

To be lighthearted again, and to slightly misquote Groucho Marks, I would never vote for anyone who asked me to vote for them.

Best wishes,

John Trem
 

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Its an imperfect World and we all make mistakes the best we can hope for is that these mistakes are done in good faith, As for politicians, they are just like the rest of us some good, some bad and some evil.
 

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at this moment & time Jeff can we pick the good from the bad? someone put them there and it was not me. dont know the answer to this one, maybe a rocket to the moon, with them all aboard.
 

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I accept it may sound simplistic to blame the politicians but the point I was trying to make is a very simple one. Just prior to the last 3 General Elections, the political parties have appeared in force in the town in which I live looking for the votes of what is a predominently fishing community. They have all promised that things would be better for fishermen if they were elected then, once the election is over its the same old story. The losers go very quiet and the same old worn out line is touted by the winners: We have got the best deal we can for our fishermen in Brussels. Hand in hand with this comes another round of draconian measures such as quotas.
The point I am making is let the fishing industry and experts work together to find the answers on the besy ways of conservation, whilst the politicians should concentrate and deal with the political issues that in many ways are the root cause of the problem - foreign nationals grabbing undersized fish, licences going to foreign flagged vessels etc. I appreciate that there are some fishermen who will try and bend the rules but that is the same everywhere. I am firmly conviced, however, that politicians take a one-sided view by looking only at the scientific evidence and then blaming the fishing industry for everything as the easy way out, rather than having the political will to address the major problems that the industry faces and which in so many cases are not of its own making.
Peter4447
 

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Our PM

John Tremelling said:
The beaureaucrats and politicians in Brussels still get paid, as does Blair and co, the fish have no feelings and we the consumer pay for the wastage, so the only ones who suffer are the fishermen, and who cares about them.

Cynic, moi?
I think a good nickname for Tony Blair would be "Bonsai" After all what is a bonsai - A "Little Bush"
Rayjordandpo
 

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Scientific evidence can be tweaked and displayed ( even "sexed up" in one
notorious case, recently ); but one key factor, is that many politicians and decision makers have little or no understanding of the subjects in which they are making the decisions; they are, for all that, ordinary people, who have been jockeyed and elected into these positions, and when they eventually end up in these positions, they are left with the same feelings as Robert Redford in "The Candidate", everyone disappears and he is left saying " what do I do now?". The decisions should be made by those well versed in the subject. I have just recently spoken to fishing crew, and the comment is that the sea beds themselves are being destroyed by chains and heavy gear; the food chain and sustainability is affected by this loss of base eco culture.
We have the same problem in Town & Country Planning - decisions which affect the local economy and local environment, made by butchers and bakers and candlestick makers - nothing against the ordinary man, but we do need a high proportion of these committees made up of specialist in the field and that includes fishing fraternity members.
 

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dom

it is a world wide problem,as with whale hunting etc,back in the fiftys the japanese fishing boats could be seen all round the world,then the long liners,politions and the experts they consult have no answer to the problem, we have the same problem down under. at least our govt.is looking backwards to history to help solve the problem,prison hulks for illegal fishing in OZ waters.at woolworths to-day specials were fresh water fillets from lake victoria
 
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