Vicky Ford MEP

Member of the European Parliament for the East of England

29 JUL 2015

Lowestoft MP meets Euro MP to discuss what help there is for Lowestoft fishing industry

Lowestoft MP meets Euro MP to discuss what help there is for Lowestoft fishing industry

Peter Aldous MP met with the East of England's top MEP Vicky Ford in London to discuss what more can be done to help Lowestoft's small boat fishermen. EU funding has helped revitalise the Lowestoft fish market in the past, but there are now concerns about the future of fishing in Lowestoft.

Mr Aldous has recently been elected Secretary of the All Parliamentary Group on Fishing and will explore the potential to change the designation of quotas so that small boats and those who use sustainable methods are treated differently.

He said: "The main challenge that needs to be addressed in this Parliament is to ensure that the UK's inshore fleet of under 10m boats, which includes those boats that fish out of Lowestoft, secure enough quota so that fishermen can earn a reasonable living. This is an issue that the APPG will look at closely in the coming months and the findings can then be used to get the Government to bring in the reforms that are so badly needed."

Mrs Ford is keen to explore how the regeneration of Lowestoft fish market might be supported by grants from the European Fisheries Fund. Money has been provided elsewhere in the UK for upgrading fishing facilities at the port-side such as in Lerwick and Peterhead.

She said "There is grant money available from the EU to contribute towards adapting port-side facilities to deal with the new requirement to land and assess all the fish that is caught. If local people wish to develop a new fish market in Lowestoft this fund may be able to contribute towards the costs."

In the coming weeks Mr Aldous will be meeting with representatives of the Lowestoft fishermen, offshore wind energy and the Port to find an acceptable way forward which provided a long term sustainable future for Lowestoft.

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