British fishermen BETRAYED: Boris Johnson attacked for selling Falklands fishing rights
BORIS Johnson has been accused of betraying British fishermen after signing fishing contracts in South Atlantic waters with foreign companies.
The British Government has authorised a series of fishing contracts in the South Atlantic ocean, which will be worth more than $100 million dollars over the next four years.
South Georgia Fisheries executive director, Rupert Street, said: “When the government had the opportunity to offer fishermen in the United Kingdom the opportunity to fish in our own waters, Boris Johnson gave permission to our foreign competitors apparently to boost foreign policy.”
It is expected that vessels from a number of other nautical powers will now be able to fish in the area off the South Georgia Islands.
Six licences have already been granted: four to Norwegian firms, one to a Chilean firm and one to a New Zealand firm.
The Norwegian fleet believed to be angling for access to British waters belongs to Ervik Havfiske, whose three ships operate under a British-Norwegian association, Argos Froyanes Ltd.
The Chilean vessel belongs to Antarctic Bay and the New Zealander to San Aspiring.
The decisions were made by the South Georgian Government and the South Sandwich Islands, who share some administrative functions with the Falklanders.
The news angered many stakeholders in the Falkland Islands, who do not want to cede control over the waters to foreign powers.
British authorities rejected applications from two British bidders, South Georgia Fisheries and Fortuna Ltd.
James Wallace, from Fortuna Ltd, blasted the Government for selling out the Falklands in its Brexit talks.
Mr Wallace accused the British Government of gifting the Falklands’ prized waters to Norway in order to pursue a global agenda at odds with the needs of his fellow islanders.
Mr Street also indicated that he wants a judicial review of the move through the Falklands’ High Court.
Britain will face pressure from Argentina over the row too, as the Argentinians not only claim ownership of the Falklands - which they call ‘Las Malvinas’ - but also of the Georgias and South Sandwich Islands.
It is against this backdrop that Boris Johnson and other senior Government figures have been attacked by Falklanders over the fishing betrayal.
The Leave campaign promised to take back control of British fishing waters after Brexit during the EU referendum campaign.
Last month, Nigel Farage supported a ‘Fishing for Leave’ protest over Britain’s concessions to the European Union over fishing during Brexit talks - as it became clear that we would not regain control over our waters during the transitional period between March 19 2019-December 31 2020.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega