UK and EU talks reach a deal for fishing quotas

fishing quotas fishing boat

A deal has been reached over fishing quotas in EU waters, with increases for North Sea cod, haddock and monkfish.

Following negotiations in Brussels, member states agreed limits on 53 stocks. Two thirds of fish in the North Sea and Atlantic fisheries will be subject to sustainable catch limits next year.

The UK government welcomed the deal while the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation said it was waiting to study the detail.

The negotiations are likely to be some of the last before Britain leaves the EU and the Common Fisheries Policy.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the deal would give UK boats fishing opportunities worth more than £750m in total.

Increased fishing quotas include:

  • North Sea: cod +10%, haddock +23% and monkfish +20%.
  • Irish Sea: cod +377% and haddock +55%.
  • Eastern Channel: sole +25% and skates and rays +20%
  • Bristol Channel: plaice +49% and sole +9%


Stocks of both cod and haddock are now accredited as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.

Challenges remain in some areas, however, with tight limits imposed in the Celtic Sea to allow the recovery of haddock and megrim. Catches for Atlantic mackerel will also see a significant restriction.

Scotland’s rural economy secretary, Fergus Ewing, said negotiations had been challenging but the outcome was “broadly fair”.

He told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “We have secured a strong result for Scotland’s fishermen, with deals worth more than £440m to the industry and crucial increases from many of our key species.

“So overall we achieved a great number of our objectives, but there were some disappointments. In the west coast, we fought very hard to get an increase for our prawn fishermen and we were disappointed we didn’t secure a lower reduction in the quota for that particular species.”

Mike Park, chief executive of the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association, described the deal as broadly fair, with some notable disappointments on the west of Scotland.

Read the full article at BBC News.

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