Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Last Fisherman

From Franziska Grobke, Greenpeace UK

Earlier this year, film director Jack Price joined us as we travelled around UK coasts meeting with local small scale sustainable fishermen. We heard from many of them how current fishing laws are impacting their lives; how the laws favour fishing methods that damage our seas, while shutting out fishermen like them who’ve fished responsibly for generations.

Even though small scale fishermen make up the vast majority of the UK fishing fleet, and the way most of them fish has minimal impact on the environment, the laws mean they get access to just 4% of fishing quota. During our trip, they told us all about this injustice and what it means for their livelihoods, the future of their local communities, and the future of one of Britain’s most traditional industries.

Jack has captured their stories in this beautiful and moving film

Kirk Stribling, a fisherman from Aldeburgh, Suffolk, says: "We are the absolute pinnacle of conservation fishing." That's because small scale fishermen use sustainable methods, passed down to them from their fathers and grandfathers, which have minimal impact on our seas and allow fish stocks to thrive.

Yet these fishermen are being marginalized by the Common Fisheries Policy, the laws that govern how we fish, which awards the vast majority of subsidies and fishing rights (quota) to more destructive ships, giving them free rein to vacuum up our oceans.

So far, 2400 people have told our fisheries minister Richard Benyon that they support sustainable fishing. But it's important that he hears this message from many more people across the country as he prepares to go to Brussels in November to discuss all-important reforms to the Common Fisheries Policy - and he won't hear the message if no one knows about our broken fishing laws.

If many more people join the campaign, we can expose the truth behind what current fishing laws are doing to our British fishing industry and to the fishermen, the people who have been doing it for generations.


If you like your Fish 'n Chips you can send an email to the minister here, but I don’t recommend it. I suggest you write to or email your own MP, in your own words.


  1. Try telling this to the EU-supporting LibDems - Mr Benyon has been trying to get the idiotic fishing policies overturned.

    1. Mr Benyon will no doubt welcome the support, then.