EU ministers vote for reform of the fishing industry

Greenpeace quota win

Small-scale fishermen and Greenpeace yesterday celebrated a great victory after European ministers voted on what campaigners are calling ‘bold and sweeping reform, dedicated to bringing Europe‚Äôs fish stocks back to sustainable levels after decades of overfishing’.

The victory – and it seems to be a big one – follows long months of campaigning and a very hard time for inshore fishermen.

As well as limiting fishing overall and boosting quotas for sustainable inshore fishing, the changes include a measure to reduce discards, the wasteful practice of throwing unwanted dead or dying fish overboard.

However, the campaign can’t be called off yet – the proposal still has to get through the European Parliament and the European Council next year.

Read more on this story here.

At last some good news. I don’t know about you, but I might just be beginning to feel a little more Christmassy…

Remembering the WWII seamen who braved Hellfire Corner bringing coal to the south

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Pill box at Rye Harbour, where seamen risked their lives
and the British feared invasion

Boating enthusiasts in the South East of England are constantly reminded about the battles that have taken place or have been expected in this corner of the country. The wartime relics are so many that almost the only time we can’t see them is when they’re obscured by foul weather.

But last night, the evening before Remembrance Sunday, I was pleased to see a repeat of the BBC Coast series programme covering the Channel Islands and Dover.

It was well worth watching as usual, but this particular transmission included an interesting segment about the brave Navy and merchant seaman of the convoys carrying essential supplies such as coal through the Dover Straits during World War II.

As every British schoolchild knows, the sea separating Britain from Continental Europe is just 21 miles wide, and so the convoys could be hit by land-based guns based in occupied France, and were very vulnerable to attack by both fast German E-boats and aircraft while passing along the coasts of Kent and Sussex.

See the programme here on the BBCi player – though I gather readers in the USA aren’t able to see this material.

There’s also an interesting summary of the big guns used by both sides at the Wikipedia.

Retired fisherman Ray Maltby talks about the decline of Boston fleet

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The British Library website’s material on accents and dialects of the UK is fascinating. Listen to Ray Maltby talking about the decline of the Boston fishing fleet.