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South Central Region Liberal Democrats

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Logbooks or shackles?

November 17, 2010 11:25 AM

South East Euro MP Catherine Bearder today criticised the latest shackles to be placed on the South East fishing industry.

As of Monday 15th November, fishing vessels under ten metres in length are required to record logbooks when out at sea, according to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO). These rules come despite EU law giving an explicit exemption to Under-10m boats from having to keep logbooks.

These over-burdensome rules have been introduced to counteract the 'misreporting of catches', but as boats under ten metres make up 97% of South East England's fishing industry these new rules will cause a huge problem for the South East.

Champion of the under ten fishing fleet, Catherine Bearder said, "The MMO claims these are EU logbooks - but they're nothing to do with the EU, it's the UK doing this!"

"European law explicitly recommends not making log books compulsory for under-10m boats."

"The Common Fisheries Policy is far from perfect, but DEFRA should not use the EU as a scapegoat when the UK makes life tougher for our fishermen."

"I'm very angry that these unnecessary rules are being forced on local fishermen who are already struggling to survive."

"I agree there is a problem with the misreporting of catches - but mandatory logbooks are like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut."

"I will be asking the Commission to investigate whether these rules are compatible with EU law."