Scarborough Fisherman Says They Are “Being Punished For Leaving Europe” As Demand Falls

Scarborough fisherman Fred Normandell blames “bloodthirsty EU commissioners” among the reasons why the boat he bought more than 30 years ago is currently restricted in the amount of fishing it can handle.

Fishing boats dock in Scarborough harbor (Photo: Olli Scarf / AFP via Getty Images)

Since December 18, the Scarborough Emulator trawler, which Normandyll bought in 1983, has made only three short trips.

Normandyle, the owner of the piece, says the captain told the company that supplies the scallops that he can only fish during the week and that he limits what he can catch.

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The Emulator started hunting for cod and haddock when Scarborough’s whitefish numbers reached around 30.

Normandy said rations had declined to the point where they were exhausted within two months in the summer, as had the catch of shrimp and oysters in the winter months.

Covid is believed to be a factor in the current recession – restaurants in Europe are not open to selling seafood.

But he also believes that the European Union “is making sure that we are punished because we leave Europe.”

Tom Newton, managing director of Amble-based Coquet Island Shellfish Ltd, said that Brexit is costing the company around £ 15,000 a week.

Previously, when they bought scallops and prawns from ships in Scarborough and Whitby, it only took 24 hours from when they arrived at the factory until they arrived in France.

Sales declined in January to 500,000 pounds from 1.5 million pounds in 2020. One of the many problems causing sleepless nights is that customers lose confidence.

“If they can buy in the Netherlands or Denmark, they can make sure it will be there on the second day,” Martin said.

“For me, voting to leave the European Union was like asking Turkey to vote for Christmas. It was the worst seven weeks in my 30 years in the industry. “

Meanwhile, a month after their trucks participated in the Westminster protest, a company director in Bridlington said the government’s progress in solving the post-Brexit routine that prevents them from exporting live crabs and lobsters to the mainland has been ” painfully slow. “

Gary Hodgson’s company Venture Seafoods typically ships about 25 shipments to France, but Bridlington oysters were processed instead.

“For us personally, we still cannot transmit,” he said. “With regard to our exports last year alone, which were down due to the Covid virus, we are seeking a cost of £ 70,000 per year, just for export documentation and a financial representative in France, not including our administrative costs in the Kingdom. United”.

Now is a quiet time of year, but he warns that “when it grows up, the system will really struggle” with delays at the border and increased oyster mortality, resulting in financial loss.

The government has announced details of a £ 23 million fund from UK seafood exporters hit by Brexit this week, but Hodgson said it was a ‘joke’.

Last weekend, the owner of Baron Shellfish Limited, Bridlington’s first lobster tank company, revealed that it had had to shut down, citing Brexit restrictions as the main reason.

However, Mr. Hodgson said: “My brother and I have worked for 25 years building this and I am not going to let that stop us. We have 35 employees and we are not going to close the doors ”.

One of the port’s three landing companies, the independent Schlefischerman Association, has exported live crabs, crabs and velvet crabs four times to France and twice to Spain this year.

Company Secretary Joe Akers said the company had worked hard to prepare and the first two weeks were “panic stops” but that the company was at “the easier end of the scale” as it was selling directly. to French and Spanish merchants, whose trucks come to Bridlington to collect oysters.

She said: “A friend of mine asked me, ‘Is it okay that the hunt ended in Bridlington? “Baron Shellfish was a small family business that did not have the resources to completely change the corporate strategy, as it had to do after Brexit. But the rest of us will be fine because of the way we actually do business. “

Port Commissioner and Fisheries Adviser Andy Wheeler believes that new markets in Asia may provide a solution to post-Brexit problems affecting the UK’s ballistic fishing fleet.

He said: “Teething problems cause hundreds of thousands of losses. I have a client in Scotland with a payment of £ 100,000 during the month of January.

“We hope that there will be solutions for exports to all possible markets through more free trade agreements with countries like Japan, in addition to solving the problems derived from exports to the European Union.”

However, she expressed her frustration with ministers, including Victoria Prentice, who revealed that she was too busy with the Christmas celebrations to focus on reading the Brexit fishing deal. Said, “Until I read it on Christmas Eve.”

East Yorkshire Member of Parliament Sir Greg Knight said the government was working “very hard” to resolve a combination of “red tape, emerging problems and ignorance of new processes” facing exporters.

He said the companies were telling him that one day the papers might get through and the following documents were completed in exactly the same way and rejected.

In one case, customs officials complained that the documents were completed in blue ink, not black. The government is seeking to improve the rules for a £ 23 million fund for seafood exporters, following criticism.

Sir Gregg said: “I have been told that there is room for flexibility.

The government is working hard on that. It’s always hard to get out of a deal that I’ve been in for 40 years and there are new rules in place. “

Few people know that Bridlington is the crab capital of Europe, or that most oysters end up in Spain, France and Portugal. More than 300 tons were launched in 2018.

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