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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  June 2016  /  Brexit potentially disastrous for fishermen and fish stocks

Brexit potentially disastrous for fishermen and fish stocks

Peter Jones: “People have been duped”

Brexit potentially disastrous for fishermen and fish stocks

In an article in Hakai Magazine on 29th June, ‘Brexit Vote Will Likely Cause Problems for UK Fishers’, Dr Peter Jones of UCL Geography, is quoted as arguing that leaving the EU will be bad for both fishermen and fish stocks: “People have been duped by cynical lies that have led to this disastrous result”.

The article argues that, although UK fishermen overwhelmingly supported leaving the EU, the Common Fisheries Policy has been quite good for the UK’s fishing fleet, the most profitable in the EU.

20 percent of the UK fleet’s catch is pulled from the waters of other EU states, and four of the top five buyers of UK seafood are EU countries. Outside the EU, UK fishermen could lose access to these waters and markets.

The UK will still have to cooperate with its neighbours in setting quotas and agree on separate deals for each species. If the examples of current Non-EU countries such as Norway and Iceland are followed, the result may well be higher fishing quotas than scientists recommend.

Peter points out that this scenario is already playing out for mackerel, with Iceland setting its own quota five times higher than what the EU suggested; “They can just say ’Sod it, we’ll take what we want,’” he says. “And we know what happens then!”

The full article explains the rationale for this conclusion.

 


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Peter Jones


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