Fishing out the waters
When it fucks up, as happens so very often, the damage is invariably compounded by the fact that it takes an age to put right. Often, politicians will not believe that anything is wrong; then they believe, but their pride will not let them admit it; and then, finally, when they attempt to do something about it, the political process takes so long that there are yet more problems.
Of course, no institution embodies this stupidity more than the EU which is made up of 27 pig-headed governments, plus its own special bunch of stubborn fuckwits. And whilst it is starting to filter through to some of these cunts that the Common Agricultural Policy might be a bit shit, these fuckers have not even considered the environmental and economic damage caused by the Common Fisheries Policy.
But, once more, we have a stark reminder of the utter futility of the CFP.
The UK fishing industry is warning it faces ruin unless EU quota rules which see millions of freshly-caught fish end up back in the sea, dead, are changed.
It says fishing crews often continue catching large amounts of fish, such as cod, by accident after exceeding quotas and have no option but to dump them.
The practice leaves crews struggling to make a living, while damaging hopes for sustainability, say environmentalists.
EU commissioner Joe Borg acknowledges the problem but sees no clear solution.
Well, what a fucking surprise. So, let us go in at the sharp end, shall we?
BBC News joined skipper Phil Walsh for a day's fishing onboard his trawler, the Lucia.
Phil says the quota for cod and other white fish he and other inshore fishermen were allocated by Brussels this year was tiny.
This is true and it is because of the desperate shortage of fish, especially cod, caused by over-fishing. Unfortunately, just because politicians say that something will happen—in this case, that cod will not be caught—does not mean that it is actually going to work.
By June he had landed all of the cod he was allowed. So, since then, the Lucia has been fishing for prawns.
After a four-hour trawl that began before dawn, the net was hauled in. It looked like a bumper catch.
Hundreds of fish splattered onto the Lucia's deck. But there were very few prawns. Despite setting his gear and net mesh size for prawns, Phil had caught mainly white fish, lots of it good mature cod as well as whiting and haddock.
Can you guess what happens next?
After being dragged up from the deep, the fish are all dead or dying. And then—almost unbelievably to anyone who hasn't seen this before—Phil and his one-man crew systematically sort through the fish, salvage what few prawns they can and throw the rest over the side.
The screech of the seagulls reaches a crescendo as hundreds of prime cod hit the water. And soon they are devouring food which would fetch as much as £13.50/kg on a supermarket shelf.
As he empties buckets of precious fish back into the sea, Phil says: "I can't describe the feeling really.
"It's your livelihood and you spend your life trying to catch it and then you have to throw it back over the side. It's an impossible situation and, unless it is sorted out soon, we will all be finished."
More importantly, for those of us who enjoy traditional fish and chips, is that the cod will soon be finished. This is waste on a massive scale: if they are catching the fish, then why not let them land them? This is insane.
Environmental groups such as the World Wildlife Fund have for years been sounding the alarm bell over the dramatic decline of fish stocks in the North Sea.
They say quotas are essential to limit the amount of fish being caught—to ensure that spawning stocks are allowed to mature and to breed.
Well, WWF, you have your quotas and what is happening? Are the fish stocks recovering? No, because they are simply being caught and then thrown back, dead.
So, what is the extent of this madness. Well, last year, EU Referendum digested the figures. [Emphasis mine.]
Nevertheless, always willing to reinforce failure with, er… more failure, ICES are now calling for a complete ban on cod exploitation AND—in the height of moronic fatuity—are telling EU member state governments that other species, such as haddock and plaice, will have to be severely curtailed if cod is to be protected.
This comes from Gerd Hubold, the general-secretary of ICES, who has told the uncritical Times that the main problem is that although cod catches have been cut to 26,500 tonnes a year, more than twice that amount is being caught in bycatches by fishermen chasing other species such as haddock, whiting, hake and plaice.
Fishermen, we are told, "accidentally" caught about 50,000 tonnes of cod last year, and have to throw the dead fish back in the sea because it is classed as an illegal catch.
The Common Fisheries Policy is a classic tragedy of the commons and a nice illustration of the damage done by top-down planning by absolute fucking lunatics with no idea of what they are doing.
Can we fucking well leave yet?