‘Our fishing industry needs strong voices’

Cllr David Robson at Bridlington Harbour
Cllr David Robson at Bridlington Harbour

Bridlington needs ‘strong voices’ to campaign for its fishing industry ahead of Brexit.

That is the view of Bridlington councillor David Robson, who fears that a potential 12% tariff on exports in the event of a no-deal Brexit would ‘strangle our local industry’.

He said: “The Government needs to get fully behind the industry and recognize the potential value and contribution that the expanding shellfish business can make to the national GDP and local enconomy. We need strong voices to represent and campaign for fishing.”

Having served as a Bridlington Harbour Commissioner for 17 years, Cllr Robson believes that Brexit offers an opportunity to scrap ‘outdated’ fishing quotas which he believes is ‘holding back the expansion of the industry’.

“Brexit, if not handled effectively, would have a major damaging effect on the fishing and shellfish industry, with implications for the viability of the Bridlington shellfish business. 98% of the lobsters and crabs throughout the UK, are exported live, in seawater into Europe.”

He added that the Bridlington fleet could diversify once Brexit negotiations are complete. “There is no reason why after Brexit, white fish fishing, could not restart with the return of our quotas and total control,” said Cllr Robson.

He was speaking at a public meeting in Bridlington last week, organised by UKIP and was joined by its MEP Mike Hookem.

“I have heard very little from our local MPs to suggest that they are fighting our corner,” said Cllr Robson. “I must admit, that I am pessimistic about a satisfactory outcome, we seem to be conceding ground before the real bargaining begins.

“I do hope I am wrong in that prediction.”