The UK fishing sector will face immediate difficulties and long-term damage under the new circumstances European Union Deal, industry leaders and boat owners claimed.
There is anger that the “marginal” gains in the share of fish that the UK fleet will be allowed to catch may be diminished by the end of the “quota swap” system, which has so far enabled deals between British boats and their boats their mainland counterparts. Europe.
Many fishermen, especially those on the south coast of England, are also angry that EU boats will only be able to operate up to six miles off the British coast.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said Monday that the UK’s agreement with the European Union was the “best possible deal” for the fishing industry as a whole.
Goff also said that a “major financing package” would be announced for the sector in the “very near future” to help it take full advantage of Brixi.
Writing in ScotsAt present, British fishermen are entitled to about half of the fish in the country’s waters, Goff said, but by 2026 that will increase to two-thirds.
But the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organizations (NFFO) claimed that the gains were marginal. Speaking after Goff’s remarks, NFFO CEO Barry Dias said there was a growing sense of disappointment and frustration in the industry.
“There were some marginal changes in the quota shares, but we are again tied to an arrangement that allows the EU fleet to have access to our waters up to the six-mile limit. We thought the 12-mile limit was an absolute red line for the UK. That didn’t hold,” he said.
Currently, the UK’s share of some stocks has increased only slightly – 10% to 20% for the Celtic seabeds, for example, while the North Sea saithe (coley) has increased from 23% to 26%, NFFO said.
Andrew Locker, director of the family-run Lockers Trawlers, which operates two fishing boats from Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, said 2021 will be a challenge for many who have worked in the North Sea because the quota exchange system was missing.
“I don’t know how we’ll get through 2021,” he said. We used to exchange the shares that we did not want for a share that the French or the Germans did not want, and this enabled us to draw up an annual fishing plan.
“This year we will be sad about the shortage of fish, cod and cod we can catch. I am angry, disappointed and betrayed.”
Elsbeth MacDonald, chief executive of the Scottish Hunters Association, said she did not believe the deal delivered what it had promised.
“The principles that the government said it supported – control of access, quota stakes based on territorial connectivity, and annual negotiations – did not appear to be central to the agreement. After all the promises made to the industry, this is very frustrating,” she said.
There is also concern about exporting fish from the United Kingdom to continental Europe. “Brexit means that the Scottish salmon sector is now facing the reality of a lot of red tape, bureaucracy and paperwork that is really additional trade barriers,” said Tavish Scott, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organization.
Irish fishing groups have condemned the Brexit deal as a serious setback. “The deal is really a bad fish deal for Ireland,” Sean O’Donogo, CEO of Keelebeg Fishermen Organization, One of the industry’s largest groups.
He claimed the terminology sounded “worse” than it first appeared last week when the organization issued a strong condemnation of the deal’s effect, especially on mackerel hunting.
The Irish Taoiseach, Michel Martin, met with representatives of fishing organizations on Monday afternoon. Martin acknowledged the severe impact that the Brexit negotiations will have on the fishing industry in Ireland, and said that a “comprehensive plan” would be put in place to address their concerns.