Probe launched as fish disappear from Thames Estuary

Echo: Paul Gilson, co-chairman of Leigh and Southend Fishermen’s Association Paul Gilson, co-chairman of Leigh and Southend Fishermen’s Association

THE owners of a £1.5billion superport have backed a probe into a collapse in fish stocks in the Thames.

DP World, owner of the London Gateway port, has backed calls for an investigation into why sole catches have more than halved in two years.

Fishermen and Southend West MP David Amess, have blamed the decline on a channel being dug in the Thames so the world’s largest container ships can reach the port, off the Manorway, in Stanford-le- Hope, but no link has been established.

DP World, which compensates fishermen for the impact on their livelihoods, points to other factors, including new fishing techniques and seasonal fluctuations as being the probable cause.

Other public bodies responsible for the marine environment are also investigating.

Xavier Woodward, communications manager for DP World, said: “We fully support the investigation into fish stocks.

“Our maritime work in the Thames has been planned and carried out with the full support of Government environmental experts and is highly regulated.

“London Gateway has funded marine monitoring carried out by independent experts since 2002 and has shared all collected data with the Ecological Advisory Group, which includes the Environment Agency, Natural England, the Port of London Authority and the Kent and Essex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority.

“The group assesses the work and the results from information collected and validates it. If any further checks are needed this also then takes place to ensure all environmental protection bodies are fully satisfied.

“We will continue to be fully open and transparent with all parties.”

The amount of sole caught by Leigh fishermen has fallen from 18 tonnes in 2011, the year after the contractors began removing 27 million cubic m of material from the seabed, to eight tonnes last year.

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, which advises the Government on managing fish stocks, called for seasonal restrictions on dredging at a public inquiry into the port plan, but the independent inspector rejected the suggestion.

Dredging was due to finish this year, but further “maintenance dredging” will now take place.

John Lamb, chairman of Kent and Essex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority and chairman of the Association of Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities, said: “We know there has been a drop in the fish stocks, but what has caused it? We can’t deal with it without understanding the cause.

“We knew when the DP World port was being built, when it went to a public inquiry, there was a sole nursery nearby.

“The inquiry said that would be damaged in the short term, but the scientific experts said when the dredging was finished it would re-establish.

“We were told the dredging would be ‘self-scouring’, meaning the tide would move and stop earth building up in the channel. Now we have got to watch if there will need to be maintenance dredging.”

Comments (16)

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5:21pm Wed 25 Jun 14

Howard Cháse says...

Maybe they have been over fished ....
Maybe they have been over fished .... Howard Cháse
  • Score: 10

6:04pm Wed 25 Jun 14

iknowbetter says...

Howard Cháse wrote:
Maybe they have been over fished ....
You might not be to far from the real reason here Howard,
Last year if my memory serves me correctly, a Leigh fisherman was heavily fined for selling Sole well over his quota, and lets not all assume that he is the only one to have been doing this, he just happens to have been caught.
Then there are the foreign trawlers who enter the Thames to catch Sole. 2 maybe 3 years ago the UK commercial Sole quota was met very quickly in the season and this allowed an influx of French and Spanish Trawlers to scoop up what was left of the Sole from the Thames, sadly its about £ signs for the Commercial fleets and not about farming their bread and butter correctly so that future generations dont suffer the consequences of over fishing and mindless acts of selfishness.
Greed is what it is and to claim now, there is no sole in the Thames and attempts to blame it on dredging so they can claim compensation goes to show how incompetent commercial fisherman and those that regulate quota's really are.
[quote][p][bold]Howard Cháse[/bold] wrote: Maybe they have been over fished ....[/p][/quote]You might not be to far from the real reason here Howard, Last year if my memory serves me correctly, a Leigh fisherman was heavily fined for selling Sole well over his quota, and lets not all assume that he is the only one to have been doing this, he just happens to have been caught. Then there are the foreign trawlers who enter the Thames to catch Sole. 2 maybe 3 years ago the UK commercial Sole quota was met very quickly in the season and this allowed an influx of French and Spanish Trawlers to scoop up what was left of the Sole from the Thames, sadly its about £ signs for the Commercial fleets and not about farming their bread and butter correctly so that future generations dont suffer the consequences of over fishing and mindless acts of selfishness. Greed is what it is and to claim now, there is no sole in the Thames and attempts to blame it on dredging so they can claim compensation goes to show how incompetent commercial fisherman and those that regulate quota's really are. iknowbetter
  • Score: 13

7:26pm Wed 25 Jun 14

billericay boy says...

This sounds a bit Fisheeee to me?
This sounds a bit Fisheeee to me? billericay boy
  • Score: 0

7:30pm Wed 25 Jun 14

andyman1971 says...

iknowbetter wrote:
Howard Cháse wrote:
Maybe they have been over fished ....
You might not be to far from the real reason here Howard,
Last year if my memory serves me correctly, a Leigh fisherman was heavily fined for selling Sole well over his quota, and lets not all assume that he is the only one to have been doing this, he just happens to have been caught.
Then there are the foreign trawlers who enter the Thames to catch Sole. 2 maybe 3 years ago the UK commercial Sole quota was met very quickly in the season and this allowed an influx of French and Spanish Trawlers to scoop up what was left of the Sole from the Thames, sadly its about £ signs for the Commercial fleets and not about farming their bread and butter correctly so that future generations dont suffer the consequences of over fishing and mindless acts of selfishness.
Greed is what it is and to claim now, there is no sole in the Thames and attempts to blame it on dredging so they can claim compensation goes to show how incompetent commercial fisherman and those that regulate quota's really are.
That's really informative. Thank you. :)....you should consider writing echo articles. So much info in a short paragraph without all the waffle. Cheers
[quote][p][bold]iknowbetter[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Howard Cháse[/bold] wrote: Maybe they have been over fished ....[/p][/quote]You might not be to far from the real reason here Howard, Last year if my memory serves me correctly, a Leigh fisherman was heavily fined for selling Sole well over his quota, and lets not all assume that he is the only one to have been doing this, he just happens to have been caught. Then there are the foreign trawlers who enter the Thames to catch Sole. 2 maybe 3 years ago the UK commercial Sole quota was met very quickly in the season and this allowed an influx of French and Spanish Trawlers to scoop up what was left of the Sole from the Thames, sadly its about £ signs for the Commercial fleets and not about farming their bread and butter correctly so that future generations dont suffer the consequences of over fishing and mindless acts of selfishness. Greed is what it is and to claim now, there is no sole in the Thames and attempts to blame it on dredging so they can claim compensation goes to show how incompetent commercial fisherman and those that regulate quota's really are.[/p][/quote]That's really informative. Thank you. :)....you should consider writing echo articles. So much info in a short paragraph without all the waffle. Cheers andyman1971
  • Score: 10

7:50pm Wed 25 Jun 14

iknowbetter says...

andyman1971 wrote:
iknowbetter wrote:
Howard Cháse wrote:
Maybe they have been over fished ....
You might not be to far from the real reason here Howard,
Last year if my memory serves me correctly, a Leigh fisherman was heavily fined for selling Sole well over his quota, and lets not all assume that he is the only one to have been doing this, he just happens to have been caught.
Then there are the foreign trawlers who enter the Thames to catch Sole. 2 maybe 3 years ago the UK commercial Sole quota was met very quickly in the season and this allowed an influx of French and Spanish Trawlers to scoop up what was left of the Sole from the Thames, sadly its about £ signs for the Commercial fleets and not about farming their bread and butter correctly so that future generations dont suffer the consequences of over fishing and mindless acts of selfishness.
Greed is what it is and to claim now, there is no sole in the Thames and attempts to blame it on dredging so they can claim compensation goes to show how incompetent commercial fisherman and those that regulate quota's really are.
That's really informative. Thank you. :)....you should consider writing echo articles. So much info in a short paragraph without all the waffle. Cheers
People just dont realise just how crafty some Commercial fisherman can be to earn a buck Andy, things such as throwing a boat load of Pollock overboard to be replaced with an unexpected haul of Cod because Cod is more expensive and earns the boat more money, and I thought hedge funds were illegal. lol
[quote][p][bold]andyman1971[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]iknowbetter[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Howard Cháse[/bold] wrote: Maybe they have been over fished ....[/p][/quote]You might not be to far from the real reason here Howard, Last year if my memory serves me correctly, a Leigh fisherman was heavily fined for selling Sole well over his quota, and lets not all assume that he is the only one to have been doing this, he just happens to have been caught. Then there are the foreign trawlers who enter the Thames to catch Sole. 2 maybe 3 years ago the UK commercial Sole quota was met very quickly in the season and this allowed an influx of French and Spanish Trawlers to scoop up what was left of the Sole from the Thames, sadly its about £ signs for the Commercial fleets and not about farming their bread and butter correctly so that future generations dont suffer the consequences of over fishing and mindless acts of selfishness. Greed is what it is and to claim now, there is no sole in the Thames and attempts to blame it on dredging so they can claim compensation goes to show how incompetent commercial fisherman and those that regulate quota's really are.[/p][/quote]That's really informative. Thank you. :)....you should consider writing echo articles. So much info in a short paragraph without all the waffle. Cheers[/p][/quote]People just dont realise just how crafty some Commercial fisherman can be to earn a buck Andy, things such as throwing a boat load of Pollock overboard to be replaced with an unexpected haul of Cod because Cod is more expensive and earns the boat more money, and I thought hedge funds were illegal. lol iknowbetter
  • Score: 9

7:56pm Wed 25 Jun 14

Thames Gateway says...

Until the study has been done, we will flounder to know the reasons...
Until the study has been done, we will flounder to know the reasons... Thames Gateway
  • Score: -1

10:45pm Wed 25 Jun 14

emcee says...

Overfishing? Maybe, maybe not. However, it is too much of a coincidence that, where massive dredging has taken place for the purpose of the superport, the estuary has lost a lot of low water silt (mudflats) and stocks of certain fish species has shrunk enourmously. Sole, being bottom dwellers, can be greatly affected by dredging and "maintainence dredging" (probably due to movement of mud from the flats back filling into the dredged channel, will not help matters.
Overfishing? Maybe, maybe not. However, it is too much of a coincidence that, where massive dredging has taken place for the purpose of the superport, the estuary has lost a lot of low water silt (mudflats) and stocks of certain fish species has shrunk enourmously. Sole, being bottom dwellers, can be greatly affected by dredging and "maintainence dredging" (probably due to movement of mud from the flats back filling into the dredged channel, will not help matters. emcee
  • Score: -1

10:55pm Wed 25 Jun 14

iknowbetter says...

emcee wrote:
Overfishing? Maybe, maybe not. However, it is too much of a coincidence that, where massive dredging has taken place for the purpose of the superport, the estuary has lost a lot of low water silt (mudflats) and stocks of certain fish species has shrunk enourmously. Sole, being bottom dwellers, can be greatly affected by dredging and "maintainence dredging" (probably due to movement of mud from the flats back filling into the dredged channel, will not help matters.
If that is the case why has the past two years seen some of the best Flounder and Skate fishing for many a year in the Thames, both bottom dwelling fish same as Sole?
It surely cant be they both, (Flounder and Skate), have far less commercial value then Sole, or could it ???.

Strange how during Sole season the Commercials are now complaining in the hope that any compensation is based around the high price of Sole.
[quote][p][bold]emcee[/bold] wrote: Overfishing? Maybe, maybe not. However, it is too much of a coincidence that, where massive dredging has taken place for the purpose of the superport, the estuary has lost a lot of low water silt (mudflats) and stocks of certain fish species has shrunk enourmously. Sole, being bottom dwellers, can be greatly affected by dredging and "maintainence dredging" (probably due to movement of mud from the flats back filling into the dredged channel, will not help matters.[/p][/quote]If that is the case why has the past two years seen some of the best Flounder and Skate fishing for many a year in the Thames, both bottom dwelling fish same as Sole? It surely cant be they both, (Flounder and Skate), have far less commercial value then Sole, or could it ???. Strange how during Sole season the Commercials are now complaining in the hope that any compensation is based around the high price of Sole. iknowbetter
  • Score: 5

11:02pm Wed 25 Jun 14

andyman1971 says...

iknowbetter wrote:
emcee wrote:
Overfishing? Maybe, maybe not. However, it is too much of a coincidence that, where massive dredging has taken place for the purpose of the superport, the estuary has lost a lot of low water silt (mudflats) and stocks of certain fish species has shrunk enourmously. Sole, being bottom dwellers, can be greatly affected by dredging and "maintainence dredging" (probably due to movement of mud from the flats back filling into the dredged channel, will not help matters.
If that is the case why has the past two years seen some of the best Flounder and Skate fishing for many a year in the Thames, both bottom dwelling fish same as Sole?
It surely cant be they both, (Flounder and Skate), have far less commercial value then Sole, or could it ???.

Strange how during Sole season the Commercials are now complaining in the hope that any compensation is based around the high price of Sole.
Sounds like you have got a little inside information. Very interesting mind you. Thanks again. Oh and do you deal in hedge funds lol ;)
[quote][p][bold]iknowbetter[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]emcee[/bold] wrote: Overfishing? Maybe, maybe not. However, it is too much of a coincidence that, where massive dredging has taken place for the purpose of the superport, the estuary has lost a lot of low water silt (mudflats) and stocks of certain fish species has shrunk enourmously. Sole, being bottom dwellers, can be greatly affected by dredging and "maintainence dredging" (probably due to movement of mud from the flats back filling into the dredged channel, will not help matters.[/p][/quote]If that is the case why has the past two years seen some of the best Flounder and Skate fishing for many a year in the Thames, both bottom dwelling fish same as Sole? It surely cant be they both, (Flounder and Skate), have far less commercial value then Sole, or could it ???. Strange how during Sole season the Commercials are now complaining in the hope that any compensation is based around the high price of Sole.[/p][/quote]Sounds like you have got a little inside information. Very interesting mind you. Thanks again. Oh and do you deal in hedge funds lol ;) andyman1971
  • Score: 4

11:06pm Wed 25 Jun 14

Kim Gandy says...

With the multitudinous farming and fishing directives that issue forth regularly from the **** Factory in Brussels it's hardly surprising.

It's common knowledge that our waters have been open to all and sundry for donkey's years. The Leigh fishermen have protested about it enough. And very publicly.

I suggest the Echo seeks the opinions of those whose families have fished these waters for decades. Nobody will know better than they do.

We can surmise all we like but I'd prefer to hear it from the horse's mouth or in this case, the cod's mouth.
With the multitudinous farming and fishing directives that issue forth regularly from the **** Factory in Brussels it's hardly surprising. It's common knowledge that our waters have been open to all and sundry for donkey's years. The Leigh fishermen have protested about it enough. And very publicly. I suggest the Echo seeks the opinions of those whose families have fished these waters for decades. Nobody will know better than they do. We can surmise all we like but I'd prefer to hear it from the horse's mouth or in this case, the cod's mouth. Kim Gandy
  • Score: -5

11:13pm Wed 25 Jun 14

iknowbetter says...

andyman1971 wrote:
iknowbetter wrote:
emcee wrote:
Overfishing? Maybe, maybe not. However, it is too much of a coincidence that, where massive dredging has taken place for the purpose of the superport, the estuary has lost a lot of low water silt (mudflats) and stocks of certain fish species has shrunk enourmously. Sole, being bottom dwellers, can be greatly affected by dredging and "maintainence dredging" (probably due to movement of mud from the flats back filling into the dredged channel, will not help matters.
If that is the case why has the past two years seen some of the best Flounder and Skate fishing for many a year in the Thames, both bottom dwelling fish same as Sole?
It surely cant be they both, (Flounder and Skate), have far less commercial value then Sole, or could it ???.

Strange how during Sole season the Commercials are now complaining in the hope that any compensation is based around the high price of Sole.
Sounds like you have got a little inside information. Very interesting mind you. Thanks again. Oh and do you deal in hedge funds lol ;)
No inside information as such, but having followed the industry for many a year you tend to see the ways some, (not all), commercial fisherman work.
Looking for high end payouts as in this instance by blaming it on anything other then their own misdoings, eg overfishing, you will never ever hear a commercial fisherman say the sea's are being overfished. you have more luck finding rocking horse **** then hearing them admit the real issues.
[quote][p][bold]andyman1971[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]iknowbetter[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]emcee[/bold] wrote: Overfishing? Maybe, maybe not. However, it is too much of a coincidence that, where massive dredging has taken place for the purpose of the superport, the estuary has lost a lot of low water silt (mudflats) and stocks of certain fish species has shrunk enourmously. Sole, being bottom dwellers, can be greatly affected by dredging and "maintainence dredging" (probably due to movement of mud from the flats back filling into the dredged channel, will not help matters.[/p][/quote]If that is the case why has the past two years seen some of the best Flounder and Skate fishing for many a year in the Thames, both bottom dwelling fish same as Sole? It surely cant be they both, (Flounder and Skate), have far less commercial value then Sole, or could it ???. Strange how during Sole season the Commercials are now complaining in the hope that any compensation is based around the high price of Sole.[/p][/quote]Sounds like you have got a little inside information. Very interesting mind you. Thanks again. Oh and do you deal in hedge funds lol ;)[/p][/quote]No inside information as such, but having followed the industry for many a year you tend to see the ways some, (not all), commercial fisherman work. Looking for high end payouts as in this instance by blaming it on anything other then their own misdoings, eg overfishing, you will never ever hear a commercial fisherman say the sea's are being overfished. you have more luck finding rocking horse **** then hearing them admit the real issues. iknowbetter
  • Score: 3

11:18pm Wed 25 Jun 14

iknowbetter says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
With the multitudinous farming and fishing directives that issue forth regularly from the **** Factory in Brussels it's hardly surprising.

It's common knowledge that our waters have been open to all and sundry for donkey's years. The Leigh fishermen have protested about it enough. And very publicly.

I suggest the Echo seeks the opinions of those whose families have fished these waters for decades. Nobody will know better than they do.

We can surmise all we like but I'd prefer to hear it from the horse's mouth or in this case, the cod's mouth.
Its not all the fault of Brussels, this country forked out 100's of millions of UK tax payers money in rebuilding the Spanish and Portuguese fleets back in the late 70's and early 80's. shortly after the UK fleet was left to rot, work that one out.
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: With the multitudinous farming and fishing directives that issue forth regularly from the **** Factory in Brussels it's hardly surprising. It's common knowledge that our waters have been open to all and sundry for donkey's years. The Leigh fishermen have protested about it enough. And very publicly. I suggest the Echo seeks the opinions of those whose families have fished these waters for decades. Nobody will know better than they do. We can surmise all we like but I'd prefer to hear it from the horse's mouth or in this case, the cod's mouth.[/p][/quote]Its not all the fault of Brussels, this country forked out 100's of millions of UK tax payers money in rebuilding the Spanish and Portuguese fleets back in the late 70's and early 80's. shortly after the UK fleet was left to rot, work that one out. iknowbetter
  • Score: 1

5:39pm Thu 26 Jun 14

John Bull 40 says...

iknowbetter wrote:
Kim Gandy wrote:
With the multitudinous farming and fishing directives that issue forth regularly from the **** Factory in Brussels it's hardly surprising.

It's common knowledge that our waters have been open to all and sundry for donkey's years. The Leigh fishermen have protested about it enough. And very publicly.

I suggest the Echo seeks the opinions of those whose families have fished these waters for decades. Nobody will know better than they do.

We can surmise all we like but I'd prefer to hear it from the horse's mouth or in this case, the cod's mouth.
Its not all the fault of Brussels, this country forked out 100's of millions of UK tax payers money in rebuilding the Spanish and Portuguese fleets back in the late 70's and early 80's. shortly after the UK fleet was left to rot, work that one out.
Why did greedy fishermen sell their boats and commercial licences to
foreign fishermen.
[quote][p][bold]iknowbetter[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: With the multitudinous farming and fishing directives that issue forth regularly from the **** Factory in Brussels it's hardly surprising. It's common knowledge that our waters have been open to all and sundry for donkey's years. The Leigh fishermen have protested about it enough. And very publicly. I suggest the Echo seeks the opinions of those whose families have fished these waters for decades. Nobody will know better than they do. We can surmise all we like but I'd prefer to hear it from the horse's mouth or in this case, the cod's mouth.[/p][/quote]Its not all the fault of Brussels, this country forked out 100's of millions of UK tax payers money in rebuilding the Spanish and Portuguese fleets back in the late 70's and early 80's. shortly after the UK fleet was left to rot, work that one out.[/p][/quote]Why did greedy fishermen sell their boats and commercial licences to foreign fishermen. John Bull 40
  • Score: 0

6:10pm Thu 26 Jun 14

iknowbetter says...

John Bull 40 wrote:
iknowbetter wrote:
Kim Gandy wrote:
With the multitudinous farming and fishing directives that issue forth regularly from the **** Factory in Brussels it's hardly surprising.

It's common knowledge that our waters have been open to all and sundry for donkey's years. The Leigh fishermen have protested about it enough. And very publicly.

I suggest the Echo seeks the opinions of those whose families have fished these waters for decades. Nobody will know better than they do.

We can surmise all we like but I'd prefer to hear it from the horse's mouth or in this case, the cod's mouth.
Its not all the fault of Brussels, this country forked out 100's of millions of UK tax payers money in rebuilding the Spanish and Portuguese fleets back in the late 70's and early 80's. shortly after the UK fleet was left to rot, work that one out.
Why did greedy fishermen sell their boats and commercial licences to
foreign fishermen.
Did they?? I take it you can tell us the answer as I have no idea. I do know though that alot of Skippers registered their boats on foreign soil, this allows them to land their catch for example in France when the quota's here in the UK have been reached for various species.
[quote][p][bold]John Bull 40[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]iknowbetter[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: With the multitudinous farming and fishing directives that issue forth regularly from the **** Factory in Brussels it's hardly surprising. It's common knowledge that our waters have been open to all and sundry for donkey's years. The Leigh fishermen have protested about it enough. And very publicly. I suggest the Echo seeks the opinions of those whose families have fished these waters for decades. Nobody will know better than they do. We can surmise all we like but I'd prefer to hear it from the horse's mouth or in this case, the cod's mouth.[/p][/quote]Its not all the fault of Brussels, this country forked out 100's of millions of UK tax payers money in rebuilding the Spanish and Portuguese fleets back in the late 70's and early 80's. shortly after the UK fleet was left to rot, work that one out.[/p][/quote]Why did greedy fishermen sell their boats and commercial licences to foreign fishermen.[/p][/quote]Did they?? I take it you can tell us the answer as I have no idea. I do know though that alot of Skippers registered their boats on foreign soil, this allows them to land their catch for example in France when the quota's here in the UK have been reached for various species. iknowbetter
  • Score: 1

6:38pm Thu 26 Jun 14

streete says...

Easto's out of a night.
Easto's out of a night. streete
  • Score: -1

6:39pm Thu 26 Jun 14

sesibollox says...

Nothing lasts forever, the Thames have been overfished for greedy consumer satisfaction, now we pay the price.
But the good news is the fact that there is always a good selection at Billingsgate
Nothing lasts forever, the Thames have been overfished for greedy consumer satisfaction, now we pay the price. But the good news is the fact that there is always a good selection at Billingsgate sesibollox
  • Score: 0
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