onsdag 21 november 2018

Brexit fishing row

The EU has consistently got its fishing policy wrong. There used to be a flourishing inshore fishing industry all along the Sussex coast, with a self-policing mafia. After 1973, the French fishermen came across and scooped the sea clean. In another ill-conceived incarnation of fishing policy, the result was that small fish were thrown back into the sea, dead.

This is a good example of where Georgist principles could apply. The seas within UK territorial waters would be divided into zones – Worthing, Shoreham, Brighton, Newhaven, Eastbourne and Hastings, for example, for which a limited number of fixed term licences would be bid in an open auction, something like the auction for radio spectrum; there would also be zones where no fishing at all was permitted, to allow stocks to recover. There might be a limit on the size of boats which could be used – ten metres, perhaps.

The bids would be open to anyone; if French fishermen thought it worthwhile to use fuel and spend the time to cross the Channel in a small boat
to fish off the Sussex coast, then they might out-bid the locals, but locals would have the natural advantage.

The system would be a fair one and the revenue would go towards providing protection and research.

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