Monday, August 22, 2016

BREXIT - And the Fishing Industry

"Why Brexit may be the best thing for Britain's fishing industry" PBS NewsHour 8/17/2016


SUMMARY:  The world was shocked when, in June, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.  Many believe the severance will negatively affect Britain's economy, but the fishing industry expects benefits -- including increased profitability, poverty relief and elimination of what some fishermen see as harmful restrictions.  From southwest England, special correspondent Jennifer Glasse has the story.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  There are reports that the United Kingdom's process to begin leaving the European Union may not begin until later next year, delaying the U.K.'s so-called Brexit.

The June vote to leave may have surprised many there, but it came as welcome news to the island nation's fishermen.  They have long complained about European Union rules, and now they're hoping Brexit will help them revitalize a fishing industry they say was damaged by E.U. policy.

From Southwest England, special correspondent Jennifer Glasse reports.

JENNIFER GLASSE, special correspondent:  Fishermen have brought their catches into Brixham Harbor since the Middle Ages, when it was the biggest fishing port in Southwest England.

The harbor and the fleet have changed over the centuries.  And skipper Mike Sharp hopes there are more changes to come.  That's why he voted for the U.K. to leave Europe.

MIKE SHARP, Skipper, “Emilia Jane”:  We have all the Dutch, and the French, and the Belgian fishermen, and mainly the Spanish as well coming to land to take our fish out of our waters, which we want to — you know, I think we still can let them come in, but we can decide how many comes in.

JENNIFER GLASSE:  European Union-mandated quotas stipulate what kind and how many fish the trawlers can bring in.  Sharp and other fishermen here claim the quotas favor boats from continental Europe.  E.U. rules also limited the size of fishing fleets.

MIKE SHARP:  When I started fishing 30 years ago, there was 60 beam trawlers, and now there's 17.  So, I would like to see it built back up.

JENNIFER GLASSE:  A larger fleet could mean hundreds more jobs for deck hands, engineers, welders and; onshore, processing, buying and selling fish.

Brixham Fish Market is already the largest on England's South Coast, handling about $35 million of annual trade.  This market itself was modernized in part with E.U. funds.

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