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Hopping mad

Foreign fishermen gaining access to British fishing quotas seems unjust to the fishing communities in the west of England. But it makes some of their members rich and is economically efficient

By Richard Barry   February 1997

The spanish love fish. Their annual consumption is 37 kilos for each man, woman and child. By contrast, the average Briton eats less than half that amount-much of it in the form of fish fingers. It is hardly surprising therefore that Spain is a major net importer of fish-about 80 per cent of the fish caught by the Cornish and landed at Newlyn is promptly trucked to the wholesale market in Madrid.

Yet contrary to popular belief, the price of fish at the Merca Madrid is no higher than at Billingsgate: it is Spain’s high demand rather than high prices…

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