The Real Fish Fight - Support Our Fishing Communities
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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotlan...tland-21697930

    Plenty fish in sea, new Scottish fishermen's group says

    A group of Scottish fishermen have formed a pressure group to convince people that North Sea fish stocks are healthy.

    The Real Fish Fight said boats have reported large catches of cod.

    Peterhead skipper Peter Bruce said conservationists wanted to turn the North Sea into an aquarium.

    WWF Scotland said it was possible the big catches were the result of boats passing over large groups of spawning cod.

    Mr Bruce said there was scaremongering over fish stocks.

    He recently hauled his largest ever catch of cod - 30 tonnes in a single net.

    The fisherman said: "There is some of the green lobby that is actually trying to finish the fishing industry.

    "They are wanting the North Sea left as an aquarium and we just can't have that."

    He added: "We would like the scientists to come out with us and see what we are seeing on the grounds."

    WWF Scotland said at this time of year cod were grouping in large numbers to spawn.

    A spokeswoman said it could be that the large catch was made in one of these areas and that this could not be read as a sign that numbers of the fish had recovered.

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    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fulls..._says_MSP.html

    Real Fish Fight campaign 'is right', says MSP
    Published: 07 March, 2013

    Scottish Liberal Democrat fisheries spokesperson Tavish Scott MSP has backed the Real Fish Fight campiagn by fishermen to highlight the reality of fish stocks in Scottish coastal waters.

    He said: “The Real Fish Fight campaign wants fisheries scientists on boats to see what’s really happening at sea. That is right. The Scottish Government should instigate a new approach to fisheries research. An approach that involves fishermen and their boats so that scientists can see with their own eyes stock levels, catches and the fishing gear being used.

    "This campaign has the potential to do nothing but good for the coastal communities who depend on the industry. But it can also bring scientist and fishermen together in working together on a better future.”

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    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fulls..._says_MSP.html

    Scottish fleet made sacrifices – now recognise with rewards, says SFF
    Published: 07 March, 2013

    With Scottish fishermen reporting huge quantities of cod and other fish on the fishing grounds, the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) says it is time for recognition to be given to the severe sacrifices made by the Scottish fleet in reducing discards and conserving fish stocks.

    The federation has been contacted by a number of its fishermen members in recent weeks about the large numbers of cod and other fish being caught and, according to SFF chief executive Bertie Armstrong, this stock recovery must result in rewards for fishermen in the future.

    “The fishing fleet has shrunk dramatically in size and we have been pioneering initiatives to reduce discards and conserve stocks, including developing new designs of trawls and real-time areas closures to protect nursery grounds. Our fishermen have made huge sacrifices in recent years – in effect, these measures amount to taking much longer to catch much less.

    “The results are now only too evident with fishermen reporting a dramatic surge in the amount of fish on the grounds.

    "This is, of course, welcome news, but it is vital that the Scottish and UK Governments, along with the European Commission, recognise that the sacrifices made by our fishermen should be rewarded with increased catching opportunities to reflect the true status of the stocks. This is particularly important, given the impending introduction of a discards ban and an obligation for fishermen to land all their fish.”

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    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...tingstall-seas

    Benyon hits out at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in defence of sea conservation plans

    UK environment minister says campaigners do not understand the costs involved in creating 'properly' protected zones




    The environment minister, Richard Benyon, has hit back at critics of the UK's plans to protect England's marine life, singling out campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall as failing to understand the cost involved in creating dozens of "properly" protected marine conservation zones (MCZs).

    Writing in the Guardian on Friday, Benyon said the TV chef did not think "he would trouble his viewers with matters of cost", but the minister did not "have that luxury".

    Fearnley-Whittingstall led a march on Westminster last month, urging the government to stick to its original plan of designating 127 MCZs that would be protected from damaging trawling and dredging. Last December the government said it would create just 31 zones because of a lack of scientific evidence on other sites.

    But Benyon was trenchant in his defence of the smaller number of zones, writing: "I had a conversation with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and explained that it was quite an achievement to have got this far at a time when government budgets were being cut. I asked him to suggest, if I ignored the science and designated all 127 sites at a cost of millions, where should I get the money?"

    He argued that it was better to have fewer zones that are policed by enforcement agencies rather than more "lines on maps".

    "For some it's a binary issue. Designate all 127 or you are a penny-pinching minister who is in the pocket of the fishing industry. In fact it would have been easy to designate vast areas of the UK's waters that are of little ecological value because it would have looked good on a map. Instead we are doing this properly."

    The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is running a consultation on MCZs that closes on 31 March.

    Responding to Benyon's comments, Fearnley-Whittingstall told the Guardian: "The sticking point for me and for the tens of thousands of citizens who have written to the Defra consultation on MCZs in support of a full network of sites to protect our seas is simple. Benyon has given no timeframe for a second tranche of sites or even a commitment that there will be any more at all beyond the first 31. Given yet another opportunity to do so in today's Guardian he has failed to take it."

    He added: "He can hardly be surprised if we question whether he is losing his ambition on MCZs. Or perhaps he is losing government support to deliver on his original commitment for a fully coherent network? If he says he needs more science and more money, then that is a reasonable point we can all discuss – but he needs to couple it with a clear commitment to go further, otherwise what will that money and that science be for?"

    Joan Edwards, head of living seas for the Wildlife Trusts, which has been at the forefront of campaigning for a larger network of zones, said: "Government says it wants more evidence to show that the rest of the 127 sites are worthy of protection. However, there is an existing mass [of evidence] which has not yet been taken into account, including its own evidence, collected at a cost of £5m, and more gathered by stakeholders in 2012.. For meaningful marine protection to begin, the minister must now set a clear timetable for the designation of a wider network. Our seas' resources are not inexhaustible."

    A spokesman at the National Trust said it was "disappointed" that only 31 out of 127 originally recommended zones were going ahead. He said: "We believe that the 'precautionary' principle should apply with the full list of 127 protected until full and proper consideration has been given to all proposed marine conservation zones. There is an urgent need for the government to work in collaboration with others to produce a timetable for designation of the full network of 127 sites."

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    http://www.worldfishing.net/news101/...hy-fish-stocks

    New group reports healthy fish stocks
    07 Mar 2013

    A group of Scottish fishermen have formed a new pressure group to convince the public that North Sea fish stocks are very healthy, reports John Kinsman.

    The Real Fish Fight said that trawlers have reported large catches of cod, while WWW Scotland has said that it was possible the big catches were the result of trawlers passing over large groups of spawning cod.

    Skipper Peter Bruce of Peterhead said conservationists wanted to turn the North sea into an aquarium, and said that there has been scare mongering over fish stocks.

    He recently hauled his largest ever catch of cod 30 tonnes in a single net.

    Mr Bruce said, "There is some of the green lobby that is actually trying to finish the fishing industry. They are wanting the North sea left as an aquarium and we just can't have that".

    He added, "We would like the scientists to come out with us and see what we are seeing on the grounds".

    WWF Scotland said that this time of the year cod were grouping in large numbers to spawn. A spokesperson said it could be that the large catch was made in one of these areas and thus could not be read as a sign that numbers of the fish had recovered.

    The Real Fish Fight has set up a Facebook page for fishermen and the British public to be able to freely discuss the matters that affect them.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Realf...26913390825828

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    http://www.worldfishing.net/news101/...eace-hypocrisy

    NFI informs retailers of Greenpeace hypocrisy
    07 Mar 2013

    Greenpeace’s annual sustainability survey and ranking of US grocers, 'Carting Away the Oceans', has been criticised by the National Fisheries Institute (NFI).

    The ‘Your Pain, Their Gain’ campaign claims to expose Greenpeace as “a science-averse, marginalised organisation that doesn’t care about helping retailers develop sustainable seafood policies - only fundraising to sustain its $700,000/day operating budget”.

    “This survey has nothing to do with sustaining the world’s oceans; it’s all about sustaining Greenpeace,” added NFI spokesperson Gavin Gibbons.

    NFI’s campaign, hosted at www.tunafortomorrow.com/retailers, will include infographics, videos, and analysis. The site will feature case studies of high-profile companies in different industries that have continued to suffer from unrelenting Greenpeace confrontation even after meeting its initial demands.

    “Greenpeace engages in what we call a cycle of abuse,” Mr Gibbons said. “It unilaterally decides to target businesses and make unrealistic, endless demands; harass employees and customers; appeal to donor generosity to thwart made-up crises; and claim victory when businesses capitulate.”

    He said that as Greenpeace does not endorse any seafood certification programs and is not active in Fishery Improvement Projects, grocers are far better off communicating their sustainability efforts directly to their customers.

    “No matter what they tell Greenpeace, it’s never good enough. Greenpeace will always criticise them”, he said.

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    Save the Fishermen of Hythe Bay
    Letter sent from terry holt............Dear Sir.
    I have recently been informed of the following information with regards to the local Fisherman and would like you to take a minute of your time to read this as I believe this will affect our local economy.

    "DEFRA has put forward a large marine conservation zone in the area of Hythe Bay. The main object of this zone is to protect a species of worm from the effects of fishing. The worm is called the burrowing spoon worm. The fisherman are objecting to the proposals based on the surveys carried out by the government funded organisations that have shown the spoon worm population increasing from 800 per square metre to 1400 per square metre over a 10 year period. Surveys have also shown that fishing has a minimal effect on the sea bed compared to the disruption caused by the bad weather and strong tides.
    Fisherman are in favour of marine conservation zones but only if they are implemented in the correct way. DEFRA want the Hythe Bay area to be a 'RECOVERY' zone which will stop all forms of fishing, commercial and pleasure. angling included. This will have wide reaching effects on other local business's that benefit from trade attracted to our coast for angling, to buy fish from a number of local fishmongers or even just a portion of fish and chips by the seaside. With no local fisherman there will be no local fresh fish. The fisherman would like the the zone to be a 'MAINTAINED ZONE' which would allow them to continue fishing as generations have done before them for hundreds of years. With a 'MAINTAINED ZONE' the spoon worm population would be monitored for any signs of reduction of numbers, the fisherman have no problem with this as they have evidence from the previous surveys to prove that they have no effect."

    This information was relayed to me by my friend Joe THOMAS whose family have been fisherman in Dungeness for generations and this is their lively hood. This would affect the local economy in such a large way. Not only the fisherman that would be unemployed but their crews, The fishmongers, Local restaurants, Sea anglers(largest sport second to golf) and the rise in costs of this food source for local people.

    I am amazed that this has not been made more widely known as I'm sure this will be very well supported by local people and business's. My own wife whose only connection as mine is through friendship has been leafleting and petitioning with Joe's partner in local Hythe business's. These business's were also unaware of what is happening to local fishing industry but were very supportive.

    I know that this is a sustainable food source and needs to be monitored but surely if the fisherman were over fishing or destroying the sea bed they would not be able to earn a living as they do. The unemployment that this will also cause in the current climate would be criminal.
    I look forward to your reply
    Yours Faithfully
    Mr Terry M Holt

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-...528?ref=stream

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