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The Last Fishermen of Sussex: Going Under
Photographer: sarah stirk
Exhibit Title: The Last Fishermen of Sussex: Going Under
Location: United Kingdom
In the darkness of 3.30am on the Stade beach in Hastings, Sussex, Paul Joy and his crew prepare to set out to sea cuttle-fishing.
For Paul and hundreds of other small fishing communities around the UK, it’s a way of life going back nearly a thousand years. But they say that they’re now struggling to survive, and if things continue as they are, they won’t last much longer.
In 2006 the European Union imposed strict fishing quotas. But UK allocations are imbalanced, say the fishermen, in favour of larger operators, leaving “inshore” fishing boats (boats under 10 meters long) with access to only 4-6% of the total fishing quota.
These small fishing vessels account for 77% of the UK’s fishing fleet, and provide 65% of full-time employment in the industry. Coastal communities rely on fishing, and the jobs and tourism it brings, to survive.
On 1st of January 2014 a new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) came into force. But critics say change has not been forthcoming
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