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Labour questions Conservative MEPs' vote against ban on damaging deep-sea trawling

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Labour is questioning the actions of Conservatives in the European Parliament, who yesterday (Tuesday 11 December) voted against action on deep sea trawling below 600 metres - a practice recognised by scientists as by far the most destructive fishing activity. 

Labour is questioning the actions of Conservatives in the European Parliament, who yesterday (Tuesday 11 December) voted against action on deep sea trawling below 600 metres - a practice recognised by scientists as by far the most destructive fishing activity. 

 

Currently a small number of large fishing vessels, primarily from France and Spain, are able to use this method, which Labour MEPs argue, causes enormous damage to the sea bed and is an outdated and indiscriminate technique. The proposal would have specifically banned the trawling method, whilst allowing other more sustainable deep-sea fishing to continue. Labour MEP’s support a ban.

 

A more sustainable EU Common Fisheries Policy is essential to protect the long term business and environmental interest of the South, yet Conservative MEPs for the South West Ashley Fox and Julie Girling voted against the motion and also voted to delay progress on the draft legislation meaning new conservation measures for deep-sea species are unlikely to be taken forward until after the 2014 European elections.

 

Jude Robinson, a Labour candidate in the South West for the forthcoming Euro elections and Cornwall resident said:

 

"People in Cornwall and the South West want to see our most precious natural resources - in this case, the sea and the fishing industry - protected. This proposed ban was supported by all the major scientific evidence available and many people will be angry to find that the Conservative MEP’s for our region did not back this measure. 

 

"To prioritise a very small sector of the fishing fleet and their most destructive activity over the long term sustainability of our oceans shows their lack of commitment on this issue. The South West’s fishing industry, a very important element of our delicate regional economy, has been let down. 

 

“Labour in the South West will be urging the Government to play its role and push for the issue to be debated as soon as possible.”

 

National governments across the EU will now debate the issue and come to a position.

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