COULD THE JUMBO PIONEER A RETURN TO FISHING UNDER SAIL?

FISHING UNDER SAIL AND OAR

 

IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS!  November 2010

The regulations governing fishing under sail and oar seem to be only partly understood by the many officials I have spoken to. This, together with numerous structural changes within the UK fisheries administration, has hampered my attempts to find out exactly where we stand when using the jumbo to fish commercially.

Far from finding clarity, my efforts have revealed a 'Catch 22 situation':

Although non-powered vessels of 10m or under LOA are exempt from requiring a licence and registering, this exemption does not follow through. Buyers of fish may only purchase from registered boats!

This lack of joined-up thinking is characteristic of the fishing legislation that presides over the moral outrage of 'discards' and the failing quota systems.

No doubt, then, we should be relieved that everything is now under review. However, we are dismayed to learn that the review would almost certainly result in the termination of the exemption that permits fishing under sail.

 

 

It was time to take action. I wrote to relevant organisations and to the Members who signed an Early Day Motion on this topic occasioned by a competition to design an 'Eco-Fishing boat' run by the magazine 'Classic Boat'- with the following headline.

The hard-won exemption from licencing and registry granted in 1992 to the engineless boats of the Truro Oyster Fishery is once again under threat in a new move by DEFRA to harmonise UK legislation with EU directives.

Andrew George, Lib Dem MP for the W. Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Constituency of St.Ives, was quick to respond.

He explained that he would take up the issue with the Minister, Richard Benyon at the annual fisheries debate the following week.

 Andrew George makes our case at Westminster:

In the light of the overwhelming problems faced by the fishing industry, no doubt our issue will rank low in a list of priorities.

Nonetheless, the sustainable potential of 'fishing under sail' has had an airing at the highest level in the UK - as indeed has the St.Ives Jumbo!

Time will tell if anyone was listening.

 

Jonny Nance 

November 2010