Thank you to the many constituents who have contacted me recently about supertrawlers – vast industrial fishing vessels that hoover up hundreds of tonnes of fish a day with nets a mile long – who last year spent nearly 3000 hours fishing in parts of UK waters that are supposed to be protected.
Our seas provide half of our oxygen, food for a billion people, and a home for some of the most spectacular wildlife on Earth. But the impacts of climate change, pollution and destructive industries mean they’re in more danger than ever.
As your MP, I have worked closely with Greenpeace over the last five years and will continue to do so. Earlier this year I tabled a Parliamentary Motion in the House of Commons to raise awareness of the importance of protecting our oceans that attracted the support of 36 other MPs, which you can see here.
My Labour Shadow Cabinet colleague Luke Pollard, who is our spokesperson for the environment has reiterated that we need to extend protection of our most fragile waters with the greatest diversity of species. When the Government published their review into Highly Protected Marine Areas in June, it failed to offer a shortlist of sites to be considered and Ministers have not set out a process to get there.
Stephanie Peacock, Labour’s Shadow Environment Minister, has met this month with Greenpeace to discuss this campaign and will be calling for sustainable fisheries management to protect the future of our UK fishing industry and fleet.
I can assure you that I will continue to do everything I can to ensure that the protection of our oceans is central to any future fishery reforms as the UK leaves the European Union.