A VETERAN fish merchant, who has won recognition from the Queen, believes we must ‘take back our waters’ and leave the EU for the sake of the fishing industry.

Ken Green, 85, lives in Brightlingsea and is the owner of Ken Green Fish Merchants in Clacton town centre, which specialises in smoked fish.

The veteran fish merchant, who has been profiled in a Parliamentary review, became a fisherman after leaving school as a teenager.

He initially worked on his uncle’s inshore fishing boat until he was called up for National Service and deployed to Germany.

But after being demobilised in 1954, he returned to his profession and opened up a fish shop alongside his father.

By 1957, the business had grown so Mr Green’s brothers jumped on board and they purchased a fishing boat to catch their own produce.

More than 60 years later, Mr Green is now recognised as one of the leading figures in the country’s fishing industry.

He said: “People love it, or they hate it, but I really love fish and I think the trade is a beautiful thing. It has been an interest my whole life.

“I couldn’t wait to leave school and get out to sea, but you did have to learn from your mistakes quickly. You do have to work really hard.

“In the fishing industry everyone is out for themselves, because if you don’t catch something, another fisherman will, but the rivalry gets left at sea.”

It has been reported at the time of the Brexit referendum in 2016, 92 per cent of those involved in the fishing trade voted in favour of going it alone.

Mr Green was one of them and believes the strict regulations imposed by the EU are killing the industry and making it unsustainable.

He said: “We have so much to gain from taking back our waters – it really is do or die for the fishing industry.

“We are fighting for our livelihoods because the EU regulations are crazy and that is the state is has got to.

“Now more than ever it is survival of the fittest and if I was just getting into the business now, my head would tell me not to.

“You really need to love it and be a fanatic to do it now.”