The MP for West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is calling on Ministers and marine regulators to make sure that Cornish Mackerel handline fishermen receive their “fair share” of the fishing quota. Cornish mackerel handliners have complained to Mr George that they believe they have been left at least 300 metric tonnes short of quota this year and that it might have been ‘nicked’ by the Scots!
Mr George has been in correspondence with and recently met the chairman of the local mackerel handliners association – David Muirhead – in Cadgwith to hear more about this and other concerns which local inshore fisherman are facing.
Mr George said “Mackerel handliners receive less than 1% of the UK quota. They are the most sustainable and low impact of all fisheries. On the other hand, one Scottish purse seiner boat – of a sector who receives the lion’s share of the UK quota – catches the equivalent of the handliners’ annual quota in a week; such is the power and impact of their non-selective and industrialised fishing method.”
“As the overall UK quota has increased, mackerel handliners should see a proportionate increase in their quota, but the government is implying that their quota is in fact 325 tonnes less than it should be. We are looking into it!”