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Greenpeace: NFFO forced into ‘embarrassing climb-down’

11 Feb 2013

Greenpeace’s recent report ‘Wolf in Shrimp’s Clothing’ has caused quite a stir.

The report into the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO) stated that the organisation is not what it claims to be - and the NFFO soon came back with 10 flaws in the Greenpeace report.

Greenpeace has since said that the NFFO has been forced into an embarrassing climb-down over the size of its membership following the investigation.

In the report, Greenpeace revealed that the NFFO claimed to represent a number of fishing associations which turned out to be either defunct or not members. After acknowledging that it had published 'incorrect information', as of last week, the NFFO’s website was only showing three of the original 20 fishermen’s associations listed as members.

Greenpeace has described the move as the ‘first major dent’ in the federation’s carefully nurtured image as the all-embracing representative of the fishing industry, and is urging the NFFO to finally set the record straight by publishing a full list of its member vessels.

Greenpeace has also published a list of the findings which it says that the federation has failed to address and the questions it left unanswered:

  1. The 8% fig leaf: The NFFO hides behind a fig leaf when it insists that only 8% of their member vessels are foreign-controlled – a figure which Greenpeace says actually validates its findings. It says that the NFFO is keeping quiet about is that the 42 vessels making up this 8% are some of the largest boats in the UK fleet and control over half (57%) of the fishing capacity represented by the NFFO. Greenpeace has asked why the federation is so reluctant to accept this figure - is it because it suggests that foreign-controlled boats account for a large chunk of the fishing quota held by the NFFO fleet, as well as for a big slice of the federation’s revenues from membership fees?
  2. Out of date: The NFFO claims that some fishermen’s associations were wrongly listed as members simply because of a failure to keep their website up to date. But Greenpeace is suggesting that this may have been more than an oversight and is asking if the revisions will be permanent.
  3. Hogging the stage: On the issue of representation for the under-10s, the NFFO maintains that it is 'against a separate advisory council for small scale fleets', but Greenpeace claims that in its letter to the European Commission, the federation’s chief also opposed proposals to allow other organisations representing the UK small-scale sector onto existing Regional Advisory Councils, suggesting that the Commission should instead help the NFFO recruit more members among the under-10s. 

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