Brexit news: British fishing quota increases under “codswallop” brand | United Kingdom | New
Leaving the EU has long been hailed as the key to the revitalization of the struggling UK fishing industry by Brexiteers. But since the end of the transition period in January, fishermen of all stripes have expressed their dissatisfaction with the current situation.
Now it has emerged that £ 31.8million in additional fish pledged by the government ‘does not exist’.
The increase in cash should have come from a sharp increase in the quotas of sole and plaice that UK fishermen can catch.
But James White, 38, a fisherman from Felixstowe, told the Sunday Mirror: “They can multiply the quota by a hundred and we won’t be able to catch more.
“These fish don’t exist.
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Data from the Marine Management Organization shows that British fishermen have fished well below North Sea sole and plaice quotas since 2016.
Experts say this means the data the deal was negotiated on is likely flawed.
Even the powerful Dutch fishing fleet is unable to catch its quota, they said.
The amount of North Sea sole that UK fishermen can catch has increased by 43 percent.
But Mr White said: “The only reason the EU gave us a quota is because they can’t catch it themselves.”
In contrast, quota increases for healthy stocks are minimal.
The cod quota in the western Channel will increase by one percent, with EU trawlers taking 90 percent of fishing rights for five years.
Quotas are negotiated by governments, based on estimates of fish stocks by scientists, to stop overfishing.
Rodney Anderson, former director of fisheries at Defra, warned of an “ecological disaster,” adding: “Nobody in charge asked, ‘Suppose the science is wrong?
Conservative MP Peter Aldous said: “If we do it this way, it will lead to chronic overfishing. “
Shadow Environmental Secretary Luke Pollard said: “These fish only exist on spreadsheets as paper fish.”
Defra said the negotiations are “based on the best scientific advice available”, adding that the figure of £ 146million was calculated differently from the figure of £ 31.8million.
Express.co.uk has contacted the government for comment.