Thursday, 11 July 2013

Victory for small fry

In today's Daily Express, Victory for small fry as fishermen win ruling to increase their annual catches:

"At London's High Court yesterday Mr Justice Cranston rules however that "no one can own the fish of the sea".

Very sensible ruling on allocation of part of the EU fishing quota for England and Wales.

However, it does raise an interesting question - if it applies to fish, then why should the Crown Estates benefit from a medieval privilege, at a time when it was impossible to "farm" the seabed, to levy charges now on off-shore wind farms simply for standing on the seabed?

It's estimated this levy will soon yield £35 million per year, which should by rights go into general taxation collected by the Government by HMRC for public use.

Instead, a large percentage of this levy will become additional income for the Monarch - replacing the Civil List which was quietly changed  to Crown Estates just over a year ago - a measure never raised, or debated, with the public.

No wonder Prince Charles is seen smiling broadly these days!

One of the other so-called Royal Privileges made all catches of Sturgeon (together with caviar) in England and Wales became the property of the Monarch.

So, Mr Justice Cranston's ruling could inadvertently have significant implications.

Steve Grindey


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