The fisherman’s verdict on Brexit: Boris Johnson sold us down the river – again. 'Boris is a kipper' - fury and frustration at Brexit fishing deal in Brixham. Can I interest you in a quota of this unusual fish? Whitby fisherman says 'crews will be worse off in 2021 than before they left the EU' Barrie Deas, the chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisation, accused the prime minister of having “bottled it” on fishing quotas. Fish for more

Fisherfolk were promised that 80% of EU fishers would be kept out, but that is down to 25% over 5.5 years (transition period - UK wanted shorter, EU longer). it's estimated that UK boats will have access to an extra £145m of fishing quota every year . Details of how each species of fish - caught in UK waters - will be shared out includes Cod - at present EU takes 47% and UK 53%, which falls and rises 4% respectively over next 5 years.

Brexit Party MEP who owns a seafood company and campaigned on fishing being 'great' for coastal communities across the UK has said Boris Johnson's deal has left her with "no fish". June Mummery said waiting five years for fishing quotas to expire was "a long time when you have nothing".

Brexit deal gives EU right to cut off energy supplies if UK tries to ‘take back control’ of fishing in 2026. It is in the fine print of the deal that went largely unscrutinised.

Penny Moraunt claims UK fish catch increase 2/3, but a fraction of a fraction is much less - and the real increase is from 50 - 58%. Traditional shanty tune 27 min in.

Fisheries Minister didn't read Deal In front of the Lords EU environment subcommittee as the UK fishing industry is plunged into disarray Prentis admitted to letting festive cheer get in the way of her scrutinising the deal on Christmas Eve.

Johnson sends (May 21) two gunboats to Jersey "HMS Severn and HMS Tamar have been deployed by the UK Government to “monitor the situation” at the Channel Island amid a protest by French fishing vessels at the port of St Helier over the lack of access. " They say new licences are far too complex. Paris has warned it could cut off power to the island, which receives 95 per cent of its electricity from France through three undersea cables, in retaliation for the fallout. Craig Murray "I personally negotiated the UK fisheries agreement between France and the Channel Islands in (from memory) 1991, while Head of Maritime Section at the FCO. It was heated, esp in Cherbourg I cannot believe how stupid, on every level, it is to send gunboats."

From my book Bittersweet Brexit p31

Truth about shellfish ban - updated "George Eustice is lying when he says it was a surprise and when it is being peddled as an ‘overnight ban’. When he was fisheries minister he was aware of these worries. If I saw this coming then Johnson, et al should have… The UK helped write the regulations government are now claiming they have been side swiped by"

Still they are happier fish! The Commons Leader (Rees-Mogg\) responding to concerns from the SNP, told MPs: “What is happening is that the Government is tackling (geddit!) this issue, dealing with it as quickly as possible, and the key thing is we’ve got our fish back. “They’re now British fish and they’re better and happier fish for it.” Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle intervened and noted: “Obviously there’s no overwhelming evidence for that.”

Nathalie Loiseau, France’s former Europe minister, tweeted on Thursday afternoon: “An MP ( Rees-Mogg) who says the fish are happier because they are now British, a fisheries minister ( Victoria Prentis) who admits she hasn’t read the agreement with the EU in her field: happily in Europe, we at least took fishermen seriously.”

The fishing industry was told by Michael Gove’s gang that the deal had increased its share of the catch entitlement in UK fishing waters by two thirds. Tim Harford in his BBC Radio 4 programme about statistics, More or Less, has established that the actual figure is 8.3%.

Down the river

Not only has the sector secured the opportunity to fish far less than they had expected, Downing Street’s claims of safeguarding the sovereignty of the fishing industry – regaining control over UK waters was a central message of the leave campaign in 2016 – appears wide of the mark. Barrie Deas:The deal means we’re still tied to the apron strings of the EU, we’re not an independent coastal state Really annoyingly embodied in the deal is a reference to penalties and compensation which must be paid to foreign fishermen if we decide to deny them access to our 12-mile limit in five years’ time. "

The UK have the right to completely exclude EU boats after 2026, but the EU could respond with taxes on exports of British fish to the EU. In 2019, the UK fishing industry exported more than 333,000 tonnes of fish to the EU. That accounts for nearly half of the total catch of the UK fishing fleet and roughly three quarters of total fish exports from the UK. Some parts of the industry - such as shellfish - are totally dependent on such exports.

Brexit Blunder - UK agreed to 'Shellfish ban' in 2008.

Pulse Fishing

Electric pulse fishing s a fishing technique which involves pulsing electric currents
Daily Express @Daily_Express #Brexit in action! #BorisJohnson immediately BANS pulse fishing in UK waters

Sounds great doesn't it? Until you realise that the EU banned it in mid 2019 with a final implementation date in 2021. France and Belgium banned it in summer 2019, @BorisJohnson kept it running for another 18 months so he could pretend it was a Brexit Benefit. #BrexitReality

For years the UK government held off doing the right thing, just to make some Brexit PR

Fisheries Bill becomes law "to control who fishes in our waters through a new foreign vessel licencing regime and ends the current automatic rights for EU vessels to fish in UK waters.

Britain hands license to monitor UK water to French firm

Shell shocked: Lobster capital braced for Brexit

Even if a deal is done, trading across the Channel will not be as seamless as it is now. More than 80% of crabs and lobsters from East Yorkshire are sold in Europe which will now require export animal health certificate that must be signed by a fish health inspector who will need at least five working days notice. With no deal, there will be tariffs of 7-8% too.

Brexit voting fish merchant says:

'We were brainwashed', warning that the bureaucratic requirements the government says are needed to export fish to the EU from 1 January will have a “seriously detrimental effect” on the industry.Perkes had previously described warnings of fish being left on the dock after Brexit as “a lot of old tosh”, saying “businesses will continue” and “thrive” post-Brexit.

Fishy business dinner in turbot charged talks. Even the food followed the negotiators’ agenda .

EU Deal. We are told everyday that 'Fishing' is one of the three main sticking points to a UK-EU deal. Eustice says that the EU are making ludicrous demands. He says they want access to UK waters, allowing us only slighter bigger quota than the half we have at the moment, and in perpetuity, whereas most 'we' would offer be is multi-annual deal of 3-yr.

MPs reject amendments to "strengthen post-Brexit protections against over-fishing....Attempts to enshrine in law a commitment to keep fishing quotas within the sustainable limits advised by scientists failed, and an amendment aimed at banning supertrawlers from marine protected areas were defeated by over 100 Tory votes. Oct '20.

A few cod were caught off Worthing Pier the other day, and one of the local fishermen said that the next thing that happened was a supertrawler turned up. Just like my mackerel catch, we're gutted.
Grimsby Telegraph “Grimsby residents branded ‘idiots’ for Brexit vote as seafood industry seeks free trade deal.” Because they need EU migrant workers to process fish.

Letter from Fisherfolk to Minister saying catch certificates cumbersome, delaying exports.


Fisheries Bill

Sept 2nd Reading. Detailed summary of debate includes "MPs are pushing the Government to back small-boat fishing businesses. Allow their quota of 6% catch to rise by 1-2% makes a lot of difference. Also calls that all fish caught in UK waters should be landed in UK ports; for each fishing job, 10 others supported...Many Members from across the House spoke about getting the balance right—namely, the complexities of managing a diverse ecosystem with the interests of an equally diverse fishing fleet. ...Many noted what had been done during the pandemic to support that and said how much more direct selling was being undertaken at the moment."

'Ministers back jobs in foreign ports and not British ones, now just seen them reject Labour’s amendment to ban supertrawlers in Marine Protected Areas.' Cat Smith MP

Discussion incl Luke Pollard (Shadow Spokesperson) saying Labour want 2/3 fish caught with UK quotas to be landed here.


Who really owns the quotas? "I'm alarmed at how bad the level of foreign ownership really is - it far exceeds my worst expectations," said Paul Lines, from Fishing for Leave, a pro-Brexit group within the British fishing industry. "More than £160m worth of the English quota is in the hands of vessels owned by companies based in Iceland, Spain and the Netherlands, thanks to a practice known as "quota-hopping"

'No deal' means that many Dutch and Spanish owned 'British boats' will fish in UK waters as they now own the quotas and this will keep French ones out who in turn stop Dutch and Spanish from landing their 'British' catch without huge EU tariffs. What a shambles.

Spare a thought for the Falklands fishermen whose contribution to the Islands' GDP is vital. They currently provide the lion's share of squid to EU market. Quotas & tariffs will destroy their economy.

Kirkella £52m laid up in Hull destined to be laid-up if no deal

Cod awful

Britain's cod awful fishing fiasco. There is an agreement but this is not enough We need a law to allow UK 'distant fisheries' in Norway water, otherwise it will be the end of distance fishing from Hull. But we can still get our cod - as Norway can continue fishing in North Sea, under their deal with EU, and land in UK.

Trevor Datson, a spokesman for UK Fisheries, said: “There will be no shortage of cod for cod and chips as a result. It will just be that none of the Arctic cod will be caught by British fishermen.” The value to the British economy of the distant fishing business was last estimated at £32 million a year.
Taking back control. Talks with Norway have collapsed The failure to reach a deal means fish and chip shops will be selling Arctic cod imported from Norway rather than landed in Britain. "The giant vessel Kirkella, which normally catches around 10% of all the fish sold in the UK’s chip shops, is now tied up in Hull without any viable long-term opportunities."


Most of the fish we eat we import, most of the fish we catch we export.

Much of UK fishing, the small-scale, ecologically sound shellfish and crustaceans, is dependent on frictionless, overnight trade in fish, with the EU. About 2/3 shellfish, lobsters, crabs and langoustines are sold to the continent.

Fisherfolk were one of the loudest calling for Brexit. There is a strong case to reboot the catch shares first set in 1983. As a result of the climate crisis and other factors, fish no longer swim in the same places they did 37 years ago. Cod and hake have migrated farther north in the North Sea and Atlantic; tuna and anchovies are found in numbers off Cornwall. Some increase in British quotas for mackerel, herring, cod and hake is justified. Removing overnight the livelihoods of hundreds of French, Irish, Dutch and Danish fishermen who have fished these water for decades is not

Any such deal would fall short of the strident demands for a post-Brexit “bonanza”, which is driven mostly by a few, often foreign-owned, fishing companies in England and a dozen or so wealthy families that control fishing in Scotland.

Johnson says Britain will “take back control” of fishing in its “exclusive economic zone” of up to 200 miles from the end of this year. He is prepared to talk about access for EU boats but insists quotas must be “first and foremost” for Britain. The EU says that unless agreement is reached on continued widespread access by the end of July, there will be no favourable trade deal for Britain – on anything.


Shellfish industry is the largest & most important UK fishing industry sector - ministers are concerned that in chasing after reestablishing “control of British fish” - the result is likely to be the destruction of the UK's most profitable seafood industry. It now (Feb 20) seems that UK government is hiding another report - that while EU takes a big % of UK shellfish haul - the UKs position of dominant supplier in this market will be lost in a no deal environment due to the intersection of a number of factors. While UK would face EU tariffs of circa 9% on these shellfish some 3rd country non-EU states have deals to to sell to EU at zero tariffs. This means that the cost would either have to be absorbed by UK fishers or markets lost. DEFRA estimates almost 2000 UK boats (41% of all UK boats) with over 4 000 fishers (that’s over half of fisherman jobs) with over 4 000 additional shellfish industry workers in UK are at severe risk

The EU has agreed some new Trade arrangements with the USA. These include giving freer access to EU of US lobsters. "Fishing News" says shellfish play an important part in UK fisheries exports to the EU.

"Most UK shellfish is exported to the EU – live, fresh or chilled shellfish provides the highest value. Fresh, frozen and smoked shellfish exports in 2017 were valued at over £500m, with exports to the EU in the region of £432m (85%) and exports to the rest of the world in the region of £77m (15%). The UK also exported £39m of prepared shellfish to the EU". "The UK is a dominant supplier of some species, including, for example, the European lobster. However, for no species is the UK the sole supplier and for no species is there not the possibility of product substitution. As such, it remains likely that the major part of the tariff impact will be absorbed by UK producers. If the implementation of tariffs were to lead to sudden and marked price increases in destination markets then this in itself could trigger changes in consumer behaviour and demand for UK shellfish".

Fisheries Policy

New EU fishing quotas (Dec 19) promote over-fishing, indicating that progress towards 2020 deadline for sustainable quotas has halted. Fishing groups described it as a 'mixed bag' and that it reinforced need to leave EU Fishing Policy. Total allowable catch for many UK fish was increased - by 25% for monkfish and hake in Western Scotland and 10% for skates and rays in Channel. More on fish

Fisheries Bill published (Jan '20) spells out "access will be for the UK to negotiate in the future and foreign vessels will have to be licensed if they fish in British waters. " Environment Secretary said it will enable the UK "to create a sustainable, profitable fishing industry for our coastal communities, whilst securing the long-term health of British fisheries". Greener UK said there needs to be more detail as to how fishing can be more sustainable.

There's a catch! As Brexiteer Fishing Minister George Eustice said "“When it is said, ‘We are going to take back control’…it sounds perhaps more dramatic than it might be, in that…we would then still engage in international negotiations around mutual access rights, mutual shares and the like”, and that the UK will be bound by “clear commitments…to agree shared TACs" (ie Catches).

French company wins license to monitor British fishing boats.

!!! First of many battles between 'Finance' versus 'Food'.

Fishing policy is likely to be be the source of first UK-EU punch-up. The EU’s trade commissioner has suggested there could be a last-minute trade-off with Brussels offering the City of London access to European markets in return for European fleets retaining their fishing rights in British waters. 6 or 7 countries (inc France & Spain) are demanding to share fish in 'UK waters', and if denied will not ratify UK-EU trade agreement. Fish Wars ahead

Brexit MEP June Mummery at penultimate EU meeting said "“The big question now is, who will be here to hold these people to account while they still control Britain’s waters, but the UK has no representation?” ERR??

"The Tory Philip Hollobone (Oct '20) – what has Kettering ever done to deserve a dimmer MP? – took him seriously and demanded that the Royal Navy be on hand to blow any French fishing boats out of the water. The Govester humoured him by promising lethal force." But surely he knew this....

Lord West said in House of Lords (Jan 20) about about a European Union Committee Report into implementation and enforcement of EU Landing Obligations, an EU policy which seeks to curb the controversial discarding of fish. "We have insufficient ships within our fishery protection squadron to carry out enforcement at the level he is talking about"

'We' want a deal like Norway have with EU (other deals). But 'we' have more fish than 'them'.

First Brexit Spat!

French banned from Guernsey French fishermen are temporarily banned from entering the waters of Guernsey due to post-Brexit administrative changes that the authorities expect to resolve in the coming days.

Dispute occurred because UK failed to inform about the changes in time. After the UK left the EU on 31 January, Guernsey was forced to introduce permits because it was no longer party to the London Fisheries Convention, which governs access to waters for its signatories.