July 1st, 2016

Taking stocks: is Brexit possible for UK fisheries?

by Thomas Appleby


Britain’s legal bilateral arrangements with its neighbours on fishing rights date back to the middle ages. Yet many fishermen have broken with this international tradition and voted to leave the EU on the basis that Brexit will result in greater fishing rights for British vessels. However, while a vote can be cast in a moment, unpicking 40 years of highly technical regulation could tie British and EU civil servants in knots for far longer than anyone might imagine.

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May 1st, 2015

Scotland’s highly prized marine environment

by Thomas Appleby


Sometimes life’s journey throws up events which are so unusual you have to pinch yourself to believe what is actually unfolding.

Most of us can dream up any amount of excuses not to do things. Many of us do things but fall short of our ambitions. A very few have the ability not just to meet their ambitions but to bring others with them and of those an even smaller subset are genuinely altruistic in their determination. We should celebrate and treasure these people, but often we are too stuck in our daily grind to take time out and besides the British are uniquely awkward with the word ‘hero’.

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March 6th, 2015

Water quality: a fishy business

by Thomas Appleby


It is easy to assume that it was public pressure which forced the Victorians in the UK to clean up the UK’s over-polluted 19th century waterways. But while that was partly true it is not the whole story.

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May 30th, 2014

The bud, the bad, and the ugly


by Thomas Appleby


I recently joined a group of students from the University of West England – where I lecture in Law – and the Marine Conservation Society in a beach clean at Sand Bay in North Somerset. During the clean, I was appalled by the huge number of blue plastic cotton bud stalks littering the beach, as were the students taking part. These stalks, which are used to hold the buds, are apparently washed down through the sewers: the public, not realising these plastic stalks do not decompose, flush them down the toilet and sewage treatment does not filter them out. The stalks then pollute the beach and interfere with the public’s enjoyment.

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