It has been a busy week in Westminster, and I was pleased to have the opportunity to be able to speak on the landmark fisheries bill.
For the first time in forty years, we have the opportunity to introduce legislation that takes control of our waters and helps to bolster our fishing sector.
We are lucky in South Devon to have three prominent fishing communities. Brixham, Dartmouth and Salcombe are all essential ports to the UK’s fishing economy.
This bill puts sustainability at the forefront and will see the industry grow and develop in the years to come.
It is also important to note that this is a framework piece of legislation. I, therefore, asked the government to consider how we can:
- Develop a ‘buy local seafood campaign’
- Invest in port infrastructure, processing and repairs
- Support the UK’s boat-building opportunities
- Maintain our fishing charities such as Seafarer’s UK and Fishermen’s mission
The bill will now progress to committee stage and then return to the Commons for its third reading.
I will continue to work with local groups such as the Brixham Trawler Agents, Waterdance Fishing, Beshlie Pool (South Devon and Channel Fisherman Ltd), Jim Portus (South West Fish Producers Organisation Ltd) and others across our fishing communities to shape this bill and to support the future of this vital sector.