Traditional fishermen feel suspicious about the way by which to a large extent, data about the fisheries industry is collated and used to regulate their industry. They believe that the data collected over time served to screen the impact of the large operators, to their detriment when it came to allocating fishing quotas on a Union and on a national basis in order to preserve fish stocks. Many operate on a family basis. Up to quite recently, they lacked the knowledge, resources or time to be able to understand how their industry, indeed their way of life, were changing. Larger scale operators transformed the structure of the fishing industry and knew how to lobby in defence of their market share. Data relating to how catches were developing ended up skewed in favour of the larger scale enterprises. EU directives applied at national level requiring a cull of fishermen’s fleets have further loaded the dice against traditional fishermen as contrasted to larger scale enterprises. In Malta, the traditional fishermen’s livelihood and future have been curtailed. Their catches were disproportionately restricted for tuna, shortly for swordfish, soon for lampuki. This is unfair. Which is why I have voted against this resolution.

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