Source: Where will British fish go after Brexit?

Surprisingly little has been heard from or about the fishing industry in the Brexit debate to date. It has not really figured at all in an otherwise lively discussion of Irish agri-food issues, which would seem to indicate that the Common Agricultural Policy enjoys rather better understanding than the Common Fisheries Policy.

Brexit explained: the Common Fisheries Policy” from the Institute for Government may help bridge the gap from a British perspective.

“The CFP uses a mixture of input and output measures to control and manage fisheries sustainably.

Input controls include:

  • controlling which vessels can access different areas of the sea
  • limiting the length of time at sea or number of vessels in a fleet able to go out to sea at any one time
  • regulating the gears and methods fishermen use.

Output controls are limits on the amount of fish that can be caught. The quotas set on each type of fish are known as total allowable catches (TAC).”

The European Parliament is expected to insist on maintaining the current quota arrangements as part of Brexit negotiations, therefore it is possible not much will change.

In its White Paper, the British Government recognised the interdependence of the UK and EU fishing industries, stating it would seek “a mutually beneficial deal that works for the UK and the EU’s fishing communities”.

It is likely that the UK would have to continue negotiating its total allowable catch after Brexit, with it signed up to international agreements that require it to ensure “proper conservation” of fish stocks and to co-operate with regional or global organisations in achieving this, especially where stocks are shared.