Lib Dems launch bid to Save the Kirkella with "ignored" Parliamentary Question and 270 petition signers

Lib Dems launch bid to Save the Kirkella with "ignored" Parliamentary Question and 270 petition signers

By Admin Lib Dems, Feb 12, 2021 1:02

The Liberal Democrats have added their weight to efforts to save the Kirkella fishing vessel. They have launched a petition that reached over 270 signatures in just 48 hours. They have also taken the issue to Parliament, with a Written Parliamentary Question tabled by Liberal Democrat Baroness Harris of Richmond.

Baroness Harris and her Lib Dem colleagues asked a number of questions about the fishing arrangements post-Brexit, including an explicit question on Hull's Kirkella Trawler. The question was:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to compensate (1) the crew of, and (2) those employed through the supply chain of the catch from, the Kirkella trawler which has been unable to operate due to not having access to distant fishing waters.


The question was ignored, claims Lib Dem Leader in Hull Mike Ross, who has argued that: “The Kirkella need answers not sticking plasters” after the ship set sail again last week.

The Kirkella is a distant fishing vessel. It primarily fished in the non-EU member state subarctic economic zones of Norway, Iceland and Svalbard all with lesser and differing relationships with the EU, short of full membership. It employs a number of crew members in Hull - their jobs and futures are hanging in the balance.

Lib Dem Council Leader Mike Ross said:

"What remains of the fishing industry in Hull is facing a financial crisis. The Liberal Democrats in Hull are calling on the government to act now before jobs are needlessly lost. It is time to get the Kirkella back out to sea permanently.

"The Kirkella fishing trawler set sail last week for the first time in 2021 – after weeks of not being able to do its job. 100 local jobs rely on it making a catch, we need a real solution as there is no certainty around when it will be able to sail again.

"The Conservative Government have let Hull's fishermen and their families down, and now they have chosen to ignore our question in Parliament, grouping it with others and failing to properly address the issue of concern."

Hessle Roader Tracey Henry, whose Father and Grandfather were trawlermen said:

"Fishermen like those dependent on the Kirkella have been abandoned by the Government. They were promised the earth – and then badly let down. Things have got to change.

"Talk to anyone who has lived in Hull all their life and they will know of someone who has been involved in the fishing industry, it is part of the city’s DNA. The Liberal Democrats in Hull have made a stand for the fishing industry in Hull and will fight for our heritage.”

 

ENDS.

 

Notes:

Link to Parliamentary Question asked by Lib Dem Peer Baroness Harris of Richmond

 

Lord Gardiner of Kimble, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL12291):

Question:
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the UK–Norway Framework Agreement on Fisheries ensures distant waters fishing access for UK trawlers. (HL12291)

Tabled on: 19 January 2021

This question was grouped with the following question(s) for answer:

1. To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to compensate (1) the crew of, and (2) those employed through the supply chain of the catch from, the Kirkella trawler which has been unable to operate due to not having access to distant fishing waters. (HL12288)
Tabled on: 19 January 2021

2. To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to secure access for UK fishers to the (1) Barents Sea, (2) Norwegian Economic Zone, and (3) Greenland Economic Zone. (HL12289)
Tabled on: 19 January 2021

3. To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the memorandum of understanding with the government of Iceland, published on 11 November 2020, offers access to Icelandic waters for UK fishers. (HL12290)
Tabled on: 19 January 2021

4. To ask Her Majesty's Government when they expect to secure fishing treaties with the governments of (1) Norway, and (2) Iceland. (HL12292)
Tabled on: 19 January 2021

Answer:
Lord Gardiner of Kimble:

The UK secured a fisheries treaty with Norway which was signed on 30 September 2020 and approved by Parliament on 2 December 2020. It also secured fisheries memoranda of understanding with Iceland and with Greenland published on 11 November 2020.

The UK is currently conducting a series of negotiations with several of its coastal State partners on fishing opportunities and access arrangements for 2021. The UK's overriding priority in these negotiations is to agree the right deal, which is balanced in the best interests of the entire British fishing industry.

Ahead of the conclusion of those annual negotiations, the UK's distant water fleet already has access to Norwegian waters to fish in the waters around Svalbard, by separate arrangement with the Norwegian authorities. The details of these opportunities were published on 14 January in the Secretary of State determination of fishing opportunities for British fishing boats covering the period to 31 March 2021.

The Kirkella received its licence from the UK Single Issuing Authority on 13 January. Following internal procedures, she set sail for Svalbard last week, and is already more than half way to her destination.

Date and time of answer: 02 Feb 2021 at 15:13.

 

Link to the Liberal Democrat petition

  • The EU have agreements in place with Norway, Iceland and Svalbard, so whilst we were a member we had distant fishing access and the Kirkella could fish there
  • The UK has to negotiate new agreements with Norway, Iceland and Svalbard to regain access and set new quotas to access the sub-arctic region the Kirkella fished in before.
  • The Government has concluded a new fishing relationship with the EU full member states. There is a phasing out of EU full member states being able to fish in UK waters with their quotas reducing year on year up to 2026. This applies to nearby fishing. This doesn’t help the Kirkella though.
  • In 2026 annual negotiations will ensue between the UK and EU to set fishing quotas in each other’s waters.

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