Greenpeace’s icebreaker, The Arctic Sunrise, has moored off the coast of Hastings this morning in a bid to raise support for Britain’s small-scale fishing fleet.
Weighing in at 950 tonnes, the campaign vessel has represented Greenpeace from the Arctic Ocean to the Amazon River.
The boat travelled around nine countries in Europe this Spring while the EU’s new Common Fisheries Policy was being finalised.
The new CFP was agreed by EU institutions last week but Greenpeace is calling on UK fisheries minister Richard Benyon to ensure that local sustainable fishermen get a fair deal when the new measures are implemented.
Today, local politicians, including South East Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder, will travel to the boat where they will meet representatives of local fishermen.
“Greenpeace will continue to work with fishermen to ensure that the UK government delivers the best deal for local crews, their families and communities, and the local environment,” said Greenpeace’s oceans campaigner Nina Schrank.
Local people will be able to show their support by folding and signing paper boats at a Greenpeace campaign stall in Hastings.
Decades of fishing quota mismanagement by the government had meant local fishermen were now on their last legs, said Hastings fisherman Paul Joy. “A fishing tradition going back more than a thousand years could be wiped out from this coast within a few years unless local small boats are given their fair share of Britain’s quota.”
The Arctic Sunrise will make its final stop in West India Dock in London’s Docklands on Saturday.
Image credit: Redondo/Greenpeace