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Longshoremen could benefit from cuts

PUBLISHED: 19:25 24 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:14 03 March 2010

MASSIVE fishing cuts threatening livelihoods across the UK could benefit longshoremen in Suffolk it was claimed today.

James White, who works on a ten foot boat from Felixstowe Ferry, said that the cuts appeared to mainly target the large trawlers rather than fishermen with smaller fleets like himself.

MASSIVE fishing cuts threatening livelihoods across the UK could benefit longshoremen in Suffolk it was claimed today.

James White, who works on a ten foot boat from Felixstowe Ferry, said that the cuts appeared to mainly target the large trawlers rather than fishermen with smaller fleets like himself.

The EU wants to slash cod catches by 45 per cent from next year, the haddock catch will also be more than halved and whiting catches could be reduced by nearly two-thirds.

"A far as I know it's a way of disseminating the big fleets. I don't think it's going to effect the little fleets that much really," said Mr White.

Fishing boats will be allowed to spend no more than 15 days at sea, but only if the fleet agrees to decommission 20 per cent of its trawlers.

Mr White said: "We don't do 15 days at sea anyway", as the weather severely hampers when they can go fishing.

"It will have a big effect on the big fleets," he added.

Mr White said that the cuts could even benefit him. "Prices should go up so it could go both ways," he said referring to the advantage small-time fishermen could gain from large trawlers having to cut back. "As far as the industry as a whole - it will kill it."

He said that the cuts should help replenish fish stocks, however he believes that the process could take as long as five years and suggested a more drastic solution to the fishing crisis. He said that the best way to improve the fish stocks would be to ban all fishing for a period and reimburse fishermen with government subsidies.

He added that all the longshoremen at the Ferry were concerned about their futures but that they would not react until they had written confirmation of the cuts and more information on how it could effect them.

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