FISHING: It must be sustainable

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I have seen news on North Sea cod stocks returning to an alleged sustainable level, in spite of the increasing pollution of our seas, dominated by careless disposal of plastics.

Secretary of State Michael Gove has been prominent on the green effects of Brexit, and various bodies have discussed the UK fishing boundaries’ limits, inshore and out into the North Sea.

Of the variable data on fish stocks, we appear to have sustainable haddock stocks, and now cod.

Scotland’s east coast fleets are dominant, ports like North Shields having some place in the overall industry, but depending on Peterhead and Fraserburgh most of the time, I am told.

The UK has a 200-mile fishing limit of some unknown status before and after the EU negotiations reach any agreement. So the various long-established continental fishing countries will, I suppose, continue to fish as much of the North Sea as they can.

Fish stocks are subject to natural swings in the local climate, even if you do not believe in climate change caused by human population (I do believe), so the future of our local and national fish industry may not be in our own control, but the UK must adopt best practices to preserve sustainable businesses in places like North Shields.

The levels of plastic and other pollution is already out of control.

AM Johnson

North Shields