Cornish mackerel handliners should be rewarded not penalised

Following news that Scottish fishermen have been ordered to pay almost £3 million in fines for falsifying the records of mackerel and herring catches, West Cornwall MP, Andrew George, is calling on the Government to make sure that Cornish fishermen have their mackerel quota protected.

Cornish mackerel handliners – who ply a trade which is amongst the most sustainable of fishing methods in British waters – have had their quota reduced in recent years to assist Scottish and other fishermen who have been over fishing. A single Scottish trawler can catch the entire annual Cornish mackerel handline quota in one week. It’s no wonder that this migratory fish is in short supply in Cornish waters this winter.

Mr George said, “It would be wrong to reward over fishing by taking quota from Cornish fishermen and to hand to others. Every year Cornish mackerel handliners fear that their quota is going to be reduced to meet the needs of a more powerful industry north of the Scottish border. It is time the Government confirmed that the Cornish mackerel handline quota should be protected and to be used exclusively for the benefit of the Cornish fleet.”

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