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Recreational anglers Roshid Ahmed and Suna Miah appeared at Southend Magistrates Court on 16 May 2018 in a prosecution brought by the MMO. The court heard how both men were observed fishing for bass on Southend Pier on 29 August 2016. The bass and both men’s passes to fish on Southend Pier were seized.youtube.com Kent and Essex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority collected and measured the fish and in total there were 68 bass retained by the two anglers, all of which were below the minimum conservation reference size of 42cm in length.youtube.com The details of this were then reported to the MMO for investigation. Both defendants pleaded guilty and offered an apology to the court stating that they were unaware of the bass regulations at the time of the offending but understand the rules currently in place. Mr Miah was given a six month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £300 costs and a £20 victim surcharge. Mr Ahmed was also given a six month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £100 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.
Four other non-EEA nationals were later reportedly identified on a second trawler at another port in south-west England and were also taken to safety. The men are alleged to have worked unlimited hours at sea with very little rest for £850-950 a month. The first vessel was detained in Portsmouth and a 30-year-old man from Annan in Dumfries and Galloway, and a 33-year-old man from Southport in Merseyside, were arrested and questioned by Hampshire police. The news of arrests in the British fishing sector comes as a new report details extensive labour exploitation in the Irish trawler fleet. Migrant workers on Irish-owned vessels are experiencing exploitation, discrimination, physical abuse and "severe" underpayment, according to a report published on Monday by the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) in Dublin.
Its research is based on in-depth interviews with 30 fishermen from Egypt and the Philippines and reveals that the majority of the men worked more than 100 hours a week for an average pay of just under €3 an hour. The workers, who fished for prawns, monkfish and plaice, were interviewed by the MRCI over a 12-month period. A quarter said they had suffered "verbal or physical abuse", such as shouting and pushing by their employer, and one in five said they had experienced discrimination. Others reported racist insults, intimidation and harassment. Edel McGinley, the director of MRCI, said: "Fishing is part of the Irish DNA but we continue to see a model of business that is based on exploitation of workers.
Following a Guardian investigation in 2015, an emergency taskforce was set up by the Irish government to deal with the illegal use of African and Asian migrants by boat owners in the Irish fleet. Up to 500 specially created work permits for fishermen from outside the EEA were created, although senior figures in the industry had predicted that, given the labour shortage in the sector, at least 1,000 permits would be required. These permits tie individual workers to specific boats. Speaking to the Guardian on Monday, McGinley called on the Irish government to scrap the scheme. "We warned that this wasn’t the best scheme to introduce. Only half of the migrant fishermen interviewed by the MRCI had mandatory Irish safety training, and 40% of them said they "did not feel safe at work". Senior industry figures met with the MRCI last week to discuss the work permit scheme.
I had been trying to get to the Angler's Rest by Benone Beach ever since chef Paula McIntyre had sung its praises to me months ago, insisting we must go there for lunch. Many failed attempts to find a mutually convenient date followed and in the end a window during which I could jump in the car and go there alone opened up. Turns out Paula also had a moment the next day, so we were both there, alone, within 24 hours. I had been trying to get to the Angler's Rest by Benone Beach ever since chef Paula McIntyre had sung its praises to me months ago, insisting we must go there for lunch.
Many failed attempts to find a mutually convenient date followed and in the end a window during which I could jump in the car and go there alone opened up. Turns out Paula also had a moment the next day, so we were both there, alone, within 24 hours. As with any long-haul drive from Belfast I wondered, was it going to be worth it? I consoled myself with the thought that a bad review is always easier to write, so either way it would be a win-win. The restaurant, lonely and isolated on a stretch of road between the magnificent steep rise of Binevenagh and the vast sands of Benone strand, does not offer a good first impression to the tired traveller. It starts with arrival at what looks like a roadside Irish cottage but painted MoD bunker grey.
It has the lovely Angler's Rest logo sign on it but, God, that paint? But this must not put you off, as I discovered minutes later.youtube.com I walked into an entirely empty bar. At each end of the classic Irish pub interior are two fireplaces, both log fires roaring. A couple of seconds later a young woman appears, all smiles, and asks, "Are you here for lunch?". After that, the place starts filling up and, within minutes, there's the buzz of hungry visitors and travellers who have also heard about the delights of this deceptively and unexpectedly fabulous wee place.
The menu is distinctly pub but only at first glance. There's ham and eggs, bangers and mash, beef pie and fish and chips. Take a closer look and the ham and eggs is actually a slow-cooked hock from nearby Corndale Farm.youtube.com It has been glazed with Irish black butter, the intriguing dark spread made from apples, and it comes with Corndale's own chorizo, used to make a rich hash with potatoes and two fried eggs on top. It is astonishingly well made - the meat glides away from the bone like two ballroom dancers separating in mid-dance. The flavour of the pork is as deep and salty as you have ever had it and the rich egg yolks add a wintry support to this big dish.youtube.com In the interests of research and any future questions, I have the chowder to start.
Angler's Rest has a 484 menu, which means that for £16 you can eat like medieval Irish nobility. There is ham hock terrine with house pickles, toasted sourdough and celeriac remoulade, crispy pork croquettes with Bramley apple puree and wholegrain mustard, crispy smoked haddock and seafood fishcakes - and that's just for starters. Among the mains are vintage cheddar and onion pie, braised angus ragu and even homemade meatballs. There is much more but, in effect, the price largely makes up for the drive there because, honestly, you will not get this quality for miles. And then there's the service. Husband and wife team Thomas and Patricia Deighan are the kind of hospitable pair who just want people to come back, and to secure that repeat, they know they have to be brilliant. The thing is, they make it look easy. Chris Furey and Chris Fitzwilliam in the kitchen are class acts, as is Emma behind the bar, at welcoming, taking orders, pulling pints, stoking the fires and generally being the kind of hostess every bar and restaurant in Ireland needs. My advice is to get there as quickly as you can because there will soon be a rush. And don't let that paint put you off.
Public backing for a ban on discarding edible fish at sea has been thwarted by the reluctance of the fishing industry and the government to put an end to the wasteful practice, the House of Lords has found. Discards were officially banned in January, after a five-year phase-in period, but the practice appears to have continued, with the government failing to take action, said a Lords EU energy and environment subcommittee report. ] is a great idea, and a part of sustainable fishing.youtube.com But this can mean fishermen run out of key species quickly. The Lords heard evidence that some vessels could run out of their annual quota as soon as February, while George Eustice, minister for agriculture, fisheries and food, admitted some could run out by June.
The evidence strongly suggested fishermen would not adhere to the new rules, said Krebs. "Although the landing obligation has applied to a number of UK fish stocks since 2015, we heard no evidence that fishers have been complying with it, or that any serious attempts have been made to enforce it," he said.youtube.com Krebs said the UK government was unwilling to enforce the rules strictly when other member states appeared not to be doing so, as that could put British fishermen at a disadvantage. The focus should now move to supermarkets selling fish to the public, Krebs said.youtube.com "Retailers are the key to this.
Discards have long been a source of public concern, and in 2011 the European commission began the process of phasing out the practice. A public petition in the UK gathered more than 870,000 signatures, and new EU rules were brought in from 2013, with discards phased out from 2015 until the final ban this year. The practice became a flashpoint issue during the EU referendum campaign, with the leave camp highlighting the resulting waste of fish as an example of EU failure. A fisheries bill setting out how the UK will manage its stocks after Brexit also aims to prevent fleets discarding fish. Barrie Deas, the chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, blamed non-compliance on the current ban’s flawed design, which he said failed to account for "choke" species.
These are species for which there is low quota or no quota, but which are often found in mixed fisheries near commercially valuable stocks. "The problem of chokes in mixed fisheries is largely unresolved," he said. After Brexit, Deas pointed out, the fisheries bill contains a potential system under which catch landed beyond a vessel’s quota would be landed but subject to a charge, which would discourage fishermen from pursuing such fish. Griffin Carpenter, a senior researcher at the New Economics Foundation thinktank, said the evidence from fishing ports suggested a lack of compliance with the ban. "Although the campaign to end discarding came from the UK, it is now policy across the EU that all fish caught must be landed - even undersized catches.
Here is my blog post; www.lincolnshire-fisheries.co.uk