Yorkshire coast fishing community hit out at long-awaited Brexit deal

The long-awaited Brexit deal has been met by disappointment from some of the Yorkshire Coast’s fishing community.

Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 2:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th December 2020, 2:22 pm

White fish traders who were expecting their quotas to rise significantly are instead looking at very small increases.

Arnold Locker, of Lockers Trawlers in Whitby, said his part of the industry would have been better off if Britain had stayed in the European Union.

“We were expecting more,” he said.

Arnold Locker

“We’d had talked with Defra about how the extra would be shared out but there’s going to be next to nothing to be shared out.

“It’s very disappointing.”

Mr Locker said parts of the fishing industry were expecting between 30 and 40 per cent increases in their quotas once Britain left the European Union on January 1.

But those rises have not transpired.

For North Sea saithe, for example, the UK share will increase from 23 per cent to just 26 per cent, gradually over five years.

The UK’s share of Channel cod will increase from 9.3 per cent to 10.2 per cent, again over five years.

Leaving the EU will also mean British fishermen lose their access to the swap system they previously had which helped if they caught in excess of their quotas.

He said the deal will not mean much changes for the shellfish industry, although there could be some extra paperwork.

A spokesperson for the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations said: “Throughout the fishing industry there is a profound sense of disillusionment, betrayal, and fury that after all the rhetoric, promises and assurances, the Government caved-in on fish.

“It is unlikely that obstacles in the road will now derail the ratification process, but the fishing industry will want it clearly understood that the best opportunity in a generation for a different and better future has been squandered.

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