Greenpeace sails into Amble

Greenpeace and fishermen are undertaking a pre-election tour by sea, which arrives in Amble on Saturday, in a bid to save the sustainable fishing industry and fish stocks.

They are stopping in 25 ports in key marginal constituencies around the English and Welsh coast that they believe hold the key to winning on Thursday, May 8.

With the New Under Tens Fishermen’s Association (NUTFA), Greenpeace will sail its fishing boat, the Rising Tide, to the ports where fishing has a proud history and are in constituencies that have been identified to be among the tightest election races in the country.

The two-month tour will cover more than 50 constituencies to put pressure on candidates to become coastal champions.

On Saturday, the event will have a family-friendly atmosphere with face-painters, games and a photography exhibition of fishermen from around the UK with the chance for people to ask questions of their candidates on the issue of regenerating the sustainable fishing industry.

Hannah Martin, Greenpeace campaigner said: “During the tour, hundreds of MPs and candidates will be invited to the events and pledge to become coastal champions.

“They will need to answer tough questions and convince voters that they will put local, sustainable fishermen first if they win the next election.

“Greenpeace will expose the MPs and candidates who fail to make the grade as this will clearly show the differences between the political parties on this vital local issue.

“These events are not to be missed, look out for the Rising Tide as we bring the election trail to the coast and force candidates to promise to put local fishermen first.”

Greenpeace wants to get as many politicians as possible to sign up as coastal champions – dedicated to promoting its five-point action plan: Give local, sustainable boats a fair share of quota; restore fish stocks by rewarding selective fishing methods; protect the ocean in a way that benefits local fishermen and coastal communities; give local, sustainable boats priority access to coastal waters; make sure small-scale fishermen are represented at the highest level in Europe.

l Julie Pörksen, the Lib Dem candidate for the Berwick constituency, has stepped up her green credentials by promising to oppose any attempts to carry out fracking in Northumberland if elected.

Julie has joined the Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth campaign against the extraction of underground gas through drilling, saying the environmental impact is unacceptable.

The Green Party, and its candidate in Berwick, Rachael Roberts, also has strong concerns about fracking.