Plymouth 5 - By Brian Cooke

Westcountry Brexiteers gather to support the demonstration for Britain's fishermen at Plymouth Hoe, Sunday April 8th 2018 – Photo: Brian Cooke

Fishermen across the UK are being encouraged to 'speak with one voice', in order to secure the future of the industry, post Brexit, in March 2019. Protests and events were held last week, (w/c 2nd April 2018) over mounting concerns that instead of taking back control of UK Fisheries, worth between £6-8 billion, British Fishermen are being sold out, with a transition deal which sees the Common Fisheries Policy continue to until 2021, and without representation.

On Sunday (8th April 2018), an estimated 200 vessels mobilized in Hastings, Portsmouth, Milford Haven, Whitstable, Newcastle and in the South West, Plymouth. Many Brexiteers from throughout the region, rallied at Plymouth Hoe to welcome a flotilla of ships and fishing boats. This followed a week long tour of the Westcountry by Deputy UKIP Leader and Fisheries spokesman Mike Hookem MEP, who called for unity within the fishing industry in order to restore full territorial rights over British waters, and the 200 mile limit off of the British coast.

Speaking in Brixham, and supported by councillors Richard Haddock and Vic Ellery, Mike called for the regeneration of coastal communities, with "British Fishing grounds for British fishermen." All three speakers wanted to see the fishing industry expand and create jobs, 'for every 1 sea job, seven supporting jobs are created', with fish to be landed in UK harbours, and an end to Brussels regulation and diktats, which have been detrimental with discards, ban on bass fishing, risk of a return to pulse fishing and compromised quota systems.

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