Support for campaign, but...

I WISH the Observer well in its campaign to support our fishermen.

However, I wonder just how much it will be able to achieve given the circumstances in which our fishing industry languishes?

I refer of course to the Fisheries Policy of the European Union which severely restricts the type, size and quantity of fish that our fishermen are allowed to catch.

Despite strenuous attempts by our political representatives past and present, rushing off to Brussels to twist the tail of the European Monster that controls our every waking moment, I fear that little will be achieved.

Ever since Ted Heath gave away every British fisherman’s birthright back in the 70s, the writing has been splashed on the wall in blood for all to see.

While generously giving back just 16 per cent of our own fishing grounds to our fishermen, the European Union poured millions into the Spanish fishing fleets in an attempt to rebuild them as they emerged from fascist dictatorship into democracy.

The result was huge Spanish vessels that can roam at will into our traditional fishing grounds and ‘hoover’ the sea bed clean.

This in turn results in more restrictions being placed on our own fleets and the ridiculously criminal situation where our crews have to throw dead fish back into the water rather than bring them ashore.

The Hastings fishing fleet proudly boasts that it is the largest beach launched fleet in Europe. But just how big is the fleet – 10 boats? 12 boats? How many did it used to be? 20 plus?

Until the Government eventually has the courage to return democracy to the British people and withdraw from the corrupt, bankrupt and criminal organisation that is the European Union, the situation will only get worse.

Otherwise, despite the valiant efforts of your paper the only hope for our fishermen is to serve as a living piece of art for the Jerwood Gallery or to provide trips around the harbour in their boats.

Whoops! I haven’t taken into account the European Union laws on health and safety. Better forget about the boat trips.

ROD BRIDGER

Cherry Tree Close

St Leonards