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Small fishermen welcome lifeline from High Court

Coastal fishing fleets in the south-east - many of them facing financial crisis - were thrown a lifeline in an historic High Court ruling today.

Small-scale fishermen with boats under ten metres long are being handed some of the fishing quota currently held by the consortiums that control bigger vessels.

Meridian presenter Sangeeta Bhabra spoke to Jerry Percy from the fishermen's campaign group - the New Under Ten Fishermen's Assosiation. She began by asking him what the landmark ruling means for coastal fishing fleets in Kent and Sussex.

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Major shake-up for fishing system

A ruling could be made today to make the UK fishing system more equal to help small fisheries.

The court has backed the government's decision to redistribute unused fishing allowances to small inshore fishing boats.

Small-scale fishermen have access to only four per cent of the fishing quota despite making up three quarters of Britain's fleet.

Fisheries minister Richard Benyon's decision to shift unused fishing quota from one sector of the fleet to another in its first serious attempt to tackle the imbalance in the commercial fishing rights.