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Cornish Fishermen In Quota Legal Battle

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 2:55pm 1st May 2013.

Cornish fishermen join a court battle that could help decide their future.

They are at a hearing in London after the government handed a chunk of quota to small boats.

Now Fish Producer organisations, who own 95 per cent of the UK's fishing rights, are launching a judicial review to overturn that decision.

Defra's change to quota rules were a lifeline for small scale fishermen, those using vessels less than ten metres in length.

They have access to four percent of the UK's fishing quota, despite making up over three quarters of Britain's fishing fleet.

South West representative Dave Cuthbert said: "If it goes against us, all it'll mean is the ownership of quota is forever in the hands of just a few owners. Quota is the lifeblood of the industry. If you don't have any fish to fish for, and if you've got to pay somebody else to go fishing, you're never going to survive.

"The rest of the fleet will end up, being as they are now, living off the scraps of what's left behind. We've only got four per cent of the quota and if you want anymore, you've got to pay somebody else. You've got to lease that quota from somebody who might well not be going to sea themselves."

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