UK and EU agree on fishing quotas post-Brexit

Brussels – The Council of Europe yesterday approved an agreement between Twenty-Seven and the UK on fishing opportunities for 2022, which will facilitate the Community’s fleet to continue its catch in the Atlantic and North Seas. The agreement stipulates fishing rights to around 100 joint shares in EU and UK waters, including the total allowable catch limit (TAC) for each species.

Accordingly, this agreement would require a 20% reduction in the quotas for northern hake (Gran Sol) for Spanish and Cantabrian horse mackerel, but would increase quotas for monkfish and rooster. Under this agreement, Spanish State ships will see their quota of hake, the species with a greater commercial value, reduced in northern waters (France, Ireland, and England) and by 12.5% ​​of the horse mackerel (chicharro) catch quota of Cantabrian Sea. . But ships would benefit from an 8% increase in monkfish and 7% in roosters in some northern fishing areas, such as Gran Sol, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA).

At the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on December 12 and 13, ministers established a provisional TAC for shared resources, pending the outcome of consultations between the parties. Likewise, the established catch limits “will be modified to take into account the new agreement,” said the Council, which did not provide further details of the agreement.

According to Joze Podgorsek, Slovenian Minister of Agriculture, who holds the post of president of the six-monthly EU Council, “the conclusions of this year’s consultations on common fish stocks set a good precedent for future negotiations with the UK.” Regulations on fishing opportunities for 2022, including amendments containing final quotas, must be finalized by legal experts and translated into all languages ​​of the block. And it will come into effect on January 1, 2022.

Annual agreement Following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, fish stocks managed jointly by the EU and the UK are considered a common resource under international law. The Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the two parties sets out the terms under which the EU and the United Kingdom determine their respective fishing rights in the Atlantic and North Seas.

Within the framework of this pact, the two sides agreed to hold annual talks to set the TAC and quotas for the following year. The consultation, led by the Commission, took into account a number of factors, including the need to respect the maximum recommended sustainable yield (MSY) for each species, to ensure long-term sustainability, taking into account the best available scientific advice and following a precautionary approach when such advice is not available. .

The pact was reached on the same day London signed a separate fishing agreement with Norway, which is not a member of the EU and is also negotiating with Brussels over shared fishing resources.

Meanwhile, civic organizations criticized the agreement as unsustainable. “As before Brexit, they continue to prioritize short-term commercial interests over long-term sustainability for fish and fishermen,” the NGO ClientEarth said in a statement.

On the other hand, the dispute between Britain and France over fishing permits for vessels in British waters remains unresolved. London has reluctantly granted many of the licenses demanded by France and the European Commission, but French fishermen have complained that dozens are pending, so Paris is asking Brussels to open a lawsuit against Britain.

Contentious. France has obtained more than 1,000 licenses so its fishermen can fish in British waters, but it claims the more than 100 it deems entitled under the Brexit agreement. The United Kingdom and British Crown dependencies such as the island of Jersey, in the English Channel, have denied permits to some French ships that have not been able to demonstrate that they were operating in the area before Britain’s exit from the EU.

Matt Thompson

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