Brexit could bring back Hull's lost fishing industry, says Mike Hookem MEP

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 22 Feb 2017

Hull's lost fishing industry could be re-born under Brexit, according to a city-based MEP.

The last catch landed by trawler in Hull was over 20 years ago while the city's fish auction closed in 2011. But UKIP fisheries spokesman Mike Hookem believes the industry in Hull could be revived if the government makes it a priority as part of the deal to leave the European Union.

He says any deal should include the creation an exclusive 200-mile zone for British fishermen around the UK.

"For me, getting our fishing waters back under our control should be non-negotiable, a red line decision. It would invigorate our fishing industry in places like Hull, Bridlington and Grimsby," he said.

"I'm not saying it would return overnight but with the right investment I am certain it could happen in the long-term. Albert Dock was the last fish dock and it could be used again.

"It would need investment at the dock, in the processing plants and new fisheries protection vessels but the potential is there. What we've seen in Grimsby recently with the fish market being closed as a knock-on effect of fishing strike in Iceland wouldn't happen if we were supplying our own markets again instead of relying so heavily on supplies from other countries.

"I would love to see trawlers fishing out of Hull but it depends on the will of the government during the Brexit process."

Mr Hookem said he was concerned that a little-known agreement from the 1964 could allow European vessels to continue fishing in UK waters after Brexit.

The London Fisheries Convention was signed by 12 countries eight years before the EU's Commons Fisheries Policy, which established the controversial quota system for fish catches.

It gave fishing vessels from each nation the right to fish within the UK's 12-mile territorial limit.

Mr Hookem said: "Should the convention be left in place, it will act as a back door for EU vessels to continue fishing in British waters which currently costs this country £700m a year on lost catch values alone."

He said the convention needed to be revoked as a matter of urgency."If this government is serious about making a clean break from the EU and reclaiming our fishing grounds, the London Convention must be revoked," he said.

"From speaking to fishermen up and down the country, their biggest fear now is that the government will use the industry as a bargaining chip for concessions in other areas of Brexit."

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