Jersey Fishermen's Association publishes manifesto for industry's future

Credit: ITV Channel TV

Jersey's fishing fleet has published a 'fishers manifesto' to set out how it believes a sustainable future for the local industry can be achieved.

The six-step manifesto aims to win public support for the industry and bring about the changes the Jersey Fishermen's Association says are needed to protect the industry for future generations.

The JFA says local fish stocks, as well as its members' livelihoods, are under threat from French trawlers, which are able to access to Jersey's waters with 'minimal restrictions' under the current arrangements.

The manifesto calls for the government to:

  • Protect the island's sovereignty by granting exclusive fishing rights to Jersey boats within an area of at least three nautical miles around the island and its reefs.

  • Support sustainable fishing practices to help restore marine ecosystems and support fish stocks.

  • Establish a fair permit system, only providing fishing permits to boats which have a track record of fishing in Jersey's waters.

  • Respect local regulations, regarding boat and engine size.

  • Safeguard local livelihoods by considering the contribution the industry makes to the local economy and the island's culture.

  • Measure the impact on fish stocks and the local marine environment.

The organisation's president, Don Thompson, says the manifesto is an opportunity for the public to offer their moral support to the industry and strengthen the position of local fishermen in conversations with government.

It will in turn enable our fishermen to take that support to our political masters and demand that they do the right thing within the framework offered by the new agreement.

Don Thompson, President Jersey Fishermens Association