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EU Proposals: a 'Mackerel to Catch a Sprat'?

the Fish Site Editor
02 February 2009, at 12:00am

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - Responding to the fears that 'recreational fishers' will be caught up in the latest fishing conservation measures from Brussels, local Lib Dem Euro MP, Diana Wallis has slammed them as using a 'mackerel to catch a sprat'.

Diana Wallis MEP, a Vice President of the European Parliament, said ahead of a visit to Scarborough:

"Elements of these proposals have been poorly drafted. I understand that the objective is to cover cases where fishermen claim to be recreational fishermen in order to fish in excess of the quotas. For example this is a big problem in Italy, where 800 tonnes of blue fin tuna are caught annually by recreational fishers, whilst the annual quota is only 4,300 tonnes.

"However it seems that in attempting to end this particular trade the European Commission is using mackerel to catch a sprat. I and my Liberal Democrat colleagues will fight in the European Parliament to get changes made to these proposals so that people who are genuinely fishing for fun will not be 'netted'. There is every probability that we will be successful.

"One claim which is untrue is that shore fishers will be affected. This is simply not the case. The proposal limits the obligation to monitor catches to recreational fishing "from a vessel"."