Atkins Lobbies for North West Fishermen

The Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Atkins MEP North West Region has written to Elliot Morley, MP, Fisheries Minister, on behalf of North West fishermen to demand the Government's active support for his Constituents.

"I have just spent two days visiting Fleetwood and Whitehaven fishermen", commented Sir Robert, "and they are very unhappy with the Minister's apparent lack of real conviction in fighting their corner in the Councils of Europe. I have undertaken to take up their cause and to encourage my Conservative Colleagues to join me. The Commission must act on the fishermen's behalf."

The problems discussed with Sir Robert Atkins were:-

  • Conservation of fish stocks in the North Irish Sea/Morecambe Bay grounds.
  • The detrimental effects of the return of other EU vessels with more powerful engines, smaller nets and a market requirement for smaller fish.
  • The threat to livelihoods of local fishermen with no other grounds to fish but their inshore waters.
  • The refusal of the British Government to provide grants to fishermen comparable to other EU member states.

"If there is to be a North West fishing industry," concluded the North West MEP, "it is essential that the Minister and the Government act now before there are no fish, no boats and no jobs".

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