Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

What A Load Of Cod

I've been blogging for over three months, and I haven't had a rant about the true madness of the EU yet. I've been worried that if I started I wouldn't be able to stop, and I wouldn't want to come across as a xenophobic, Brussels-obsessed madman. So in over 80 articles I've hardly mentioned our masters from abroad.

Which for me, constitutes a very measured response to what is an utterly lamentable organisation, which runs huge areas of government without proper democratic accountability, wants to control our currency, spends vast sums of our money and still comes back for more, is responsible for adding god knows how much to our weekly supermarket bill, is crippling our hard-working companies which idiotic edicts, has failed to get its accounts signed off for each of the last 12 years, which...OK...hang on...deep breath Womble...calm down again...

And I was doing fine in my policy of ignoring them, until I heard the story today about how thousands of tons of dead fish are thrown back into the sea every year in an absurd consequence of EU fishing quotas.

It works like this....European Union quotas strictly limit the amount of fish that vessels can bring back to port, but there is no restriction on the amount of fish they actually catch. So in the "mixed fishery" of the North Sea, where trawlers often accidentally catch various species, they have to throw anything back that exceeds their quota.

The EU estimates that between 40% and 60% of fish caught by trawlers in this area is dumped back into the sea.

The quota system, mark you, is designed to protect species of fish that are in danger of dying out. Instead trawler men are catching them unnecessarily, and throwing them back, leaving fewer fish for those trawler men actually trying to catch them in the first place.

This is just insane. I'm no expert on fishery policy, but there has to be a better way of doing this. Restrictions on the number of days at sea, allowing trawler men sell their catch onto others whose quota it would then count towards, or even just leaving it to the market would all be preferable to this.

Needless to say the EU are telling us that we're pretty much stuck with this, not least of all because it's well-nigh impossible to get any policy change past 27 different countries.

I was going to say that only the EU could come up with something so completely crazy, but actually there's probably a whole range of government agencies around the world capable of lunacy not far short of this. Thank God we only have to put up with some of them.

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