At today’s meeting of Full Council, councillors voted for a motion backing Cornwall’s fishing industry.
The motion, brought forward by Conservative councillors Peter Perry and Peter Guest, who are also members of Cornwall’s Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA)which enjoys cross party support , asks that Cornwall Council:
1. Recognises and notes the significant contribution made by Cornwall’s fishing industry to the Cornish economy, Cornwall’s ports and harbours, and our maritime communities.
2. Commits to sustaining strong partnerships with Cornwall-based industries engaged in fishing, processing and distribution of Cornish fish and shellfish worldwide, thereby supporting and sustaining the growth of our fishing industry.
3. Commits to supporting our fishing industry through encouraging locally caught produce to be served in our schools, colleges, and care homes.
4. Commits to providing continued support for IFCA, working in close collaboration with Cornish fishermen and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), to ensure the conservation of fish and shellfish stocks and the preservation of the seabed and our coastal waters.
5. Commits to supporting our municipal harbours through the work of the Cornwall Harbours Board, and other harbours around our coast, and commits to the continued support for the management and infrastructure necessary to provide safe, sheltered moorings for our fishing vessels and the provision of harbour facilities necessary for berthing and maintenance.
6. Recognises the outstanding service given by the RNLI and National Coast Watch, manned by fulltime staff and willing volunteers, providing emergency rescue and support to fishing vessels and their crews, often operating in hazardous, life-threatening conditions.
Motion proposer, Cllr Peter Perry (Camborne Roskear & Tuckingmill), said:
“I was delighted to bring this motion to Full Council today, and see the support from across the chamber.”
“For centuries, Cornish fishermen have worked from our harbours and coves, providing a living for our maritime communities. Today, the value of fish landed in Cornwall exceeds £44 million per year, supporting Cornwall’s hospitality industry and exporting to Europe and Asia.”
“Our fishermen are facing an increasing number of challenges, including restricted marine conservation areas, fish quotas and competition from larger, foreign vessels.”
“Supporting our fishermen are organisations such as the Cornwall Inshore Fishing Authority, and Cornwall Harbours Board. Essential to the sustainability of our fish and shellfish stocks is the need to regulate the quantity and size of fish landed, and to prevent illegal fishing methods. Recent court cases in Truro are testament to the work they do.”
“Cornwall Council is a strong supporter of our fishing industry, with Councillor representatives engaging with the relevant organisations. It is essential that all stakeholders engaged in the industry have a platform on which to communicate and agree manageable solutions to ensure the sustainability and profitability of this vital industry.”
“I was pleased to see the motion passed today and look forward to Cornwall Council adopting its principles and formalising its support for this vital Cornish industry in the coming years.”