From the Office of Austin Mitchell MP


Press Release:


Fishery Limits Amendment Bill, 4th June 2003



The Fishery Limits Amendment Bill empowers her Majesty's government to take back control of Britain's national waters and manage them in the interests of effective conservation, rather than see them looted and pillaged by other EU members.


On June 4th 2003, Austin Mitchell MP for Great Grimsby will ask leave to introduce this Fishery Limits Amendment Bill. This will allow the British Government to manage and control British Fishing waters to the 200 mile limit, or the median line.



My Bill says Mr Mitchell, is a simple measure to ensure that the European Communities Act of 1972 which makes EU law superior to British, will not apply to the Fishery Limits Act of 1976, which extended British waters to the 200 mile limit


Other countries have used this extension of limits to build up their own fishing industries in their own waters, and to provide effective conservation, management and stock rebuilding. Only the national state can do this because it alone has the interest in protecting its fish stocks, to pass them on to future generations of its own fishermen.


Alone amongst the major fishing nations, Britain cannot do this. Edward Heath accepted a Common Fisheries Policy (C.F.P.), cobbled together in anticipation of Britain's Common Market entry, to give the rest of Europe full access to our rich fishing grounds on the principle of equal access to a common resource. Hardly legal under the treaty, this was nevertheless accepted by Heath in his desperation to get into the Market.


The C.F.P. is a political policy not a conservation policy. Under it, an increasing number of states, most recently Spain but with others to come, have been given access, quotas and catches in our waters. This has lead to severe over-fishing to the point where cod and other types of fish are now in serious danger of extinction. Drastic catch limits have been imposed on the British fish industry as a result.


The CFP can't work, isn't working and should be ended. My bill gives government the power to do just that, to begin the task of providing for effective conservation, rebuilding the stocks and coming to reciprocal arrangements and catch exchanges with other fishing nations such as Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Ireland. At the very least this will strengthen governments bargaining position. At best it will end the farce and make us a great fishing nation once again. I want Parliament to do justice to the British fishing Industry and compensate it for the years of neglect, by saving Britain's fish and Britain's fishing.

 Friday 30th May, 2003



For more info contact Joy Millward, Office of Austin Mitchell MP,

Tel. 0207 219 4559, Fax 0207 2194843, email,