Town fishermen lobby MEP for support

Boston fisherman lobby MEP Derek Clark
Boston fisherman lobby MEP Derek Clark

AN MEP has pledged to continue to offer his support to Boston’s cockle fishermen and fight any ‘obstacles’ that stop them conducting their business.

Derek Clark, UKIP’s MEP for Boston, met with fishermen, county council representatives from Lincolnshire and Norfolk, as well as officers from Natural England and the Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Agency (EIFCA), last week.

The cockle fishermen recently criticised the authorities for banning them from fishing The Wash for two days after a chemical spillage near Peterborough.

A further problem then arose when EIFCA officers said the fishermen’s propellers were damaging the sea bed.

Mr Clark said: “It’s difficult to imagine successive tides would not obliterate these marks but I suggested random inspections of the fishing areas should be regularly carried out.

“This would be by officers without giving prior warning, as happens in many occupations. As a teacher for 39 years I had my share of inspectors dropping in to observe my lessons without warning, quite right too. “

The inspection idea will be discussed at a meeting on Wednesday, July 25.

Mr Clark said: “I hope no further obstacles are placed in the way of these fishermen most of whom are now back at work for the first time since last August.”