Summary of Fishing for Leave’s main 14 policy positions;

This week Fishing for Leave launched a comprehensive 144 page fisheries policy document in Westminster. 

A policy which extensively details a bold new approach to fisheries management to cleanly break from the EU, and the disastrous status quo. To allow all in the industry and coastal communities the opportunity to rejuvenate and to make British fishing a world leader.

Fishing For Leave 2

A summary of Fishing for Leave’s main 14 policy positions, are;

1. Full withdrawal from the EU (as voted for) with no adoption of the fisheries sections of the Acquis Communautaire transposing EU regulation and the CFP into UK law – fisheries should be exempted from the Great Repeal Bill.

2. Restore full UK control over our EEZ and automatically repatriate all UK fisheries resources upon withdrawal as per the terms of Article 50, Section 3 with the UK reverting to international law under the terms of UNCLOS 3.

3. No element of the disastrous Common fisheries policy to be replicated in UK law. The clean break under Article 50 should be taken. Replicating the CFP is environmentally, operationally and diplomatically ill advised.

4. Exclude all the EU fleet using the strong negotiating position of their necessity of access to our rich resources to extract the best reciprocal deals. Any future access agreements should only be on a needs must, equal exchange or better, basis for the UK fleet. Equal exchange must not be equal access in all but name.

5. An environmentally and economically fit for purpose policy that is inclusive of and benefits all in the industry must be implemented. Future policy must create firm foundations for economic vitality and sustainability to provide a firm future to rebuild a home grown, community based industry all around the nation.

6. A resources amnesty should be enacted – Shares of current UK allocations and investments in them should be respected for business stability and continuity. However, ALL repatriated resources should be held in a government pool and allocated for the benefit of all fishermen and communities. Fisheries resources belong to the nation and should be for the betterment of all the industry not corporatized

7. All future UK fisheries entitlements to repatriated resources should be de-monetarised and held in a government pool to stop the present system of buying/renting quota, which undermines-profitability, fishing communities and fishing heritage whilst causing vessels to fish harder.

8. Fish stocks should be managed as a renewable resource and aim for a maximum exploitation yield from a sea area. Currently we have MSY on individual species which is ill founded – stocks are in an interdependent ecology, imagining a maximum of everything ignores their interdependence and our inability to predict it- UK mixed fisheries management should emulate the Faroese pyramid approach to marine ecology.

9. A future fishery management regime must have sustainable foundations and fit the ecology of the UK’s mixed demersal fisheries. The failed EU system of quotas do not work in mixed fisheries and are the cause of discards. Policy must end the cause of discards (quotas) not ban the symptoms. A quota regime and discard ban will decimate the fleet with choke species.

10. The UK must transition to a Days-at-Sea keep what you catch system that changes current FQA entitlements to express them as catch composition percentages. This would provide business stability on investments in FQAs whilst ending arbitrary kg quota limits. Days-at-Sea work ecologically in a mixed fishery, reduces the regulatory burden in being simpler to administer, gives better scientific data with keep what you catch, ends sectoral in-fighting and means land more but catch less with an end to the cause of discards.

11. A future UK fisheries management regime should exempt small vessels (under 10 metres) from most measures aside from a day’s limit and technical measures. It must be accepted that smaller vessels have a limited ecological impact and are a nursery for young fishermen and vital to local communities.

12. To ensure future UK governance recognises fishermen as the primary stakeholders with the greatest interest in sustainability of the marine environment – the unparalleled expertise of commercial fishermen should be recognised and accounted for. As food suppliers, commercial fishermen should be preferential stake holders with proportionate numbers to angling, environmental interests and IFCA representation on all policy making.

13. A UK wide fisheries institute should be created so that fishermen and scientists are made to work together, in a similar format to the successful model created by Norway to produce accurate stock assessments. Using accurate real–time catch data from vessels facilitated under a Days-at-Sea keep what you catch system.

14. To work with other Nordic nations through N.E.A.F.C in broad but unbinding agreements to manage fisheries and control all supply and marketing to a hungry EU market for the benefit of the UK.

 

The Brexit Textbook on Fisheries can be ordered here:

http://ffl.org.uk/product/the-brexit-textbook-on-fisheries/

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Fishing For Leave Fish Only

  • Peter Gardner

    I want Britain’s fisheries and other marine resources restored to the sovereign control of Britain. But it will not be easy. I make the comments below believing that fore-warned is fore-armed.

    Restoring sovereignty, rights and responsibilities will indeed pass automatically to UK. However, UNCLOS imposes a duty on UK to co-operate and reach agreement with adjacent and opposite states. It will be necessary to assert Britain’s rights with considerable vigour. UK will not “be able to decide for ourselves to what extent ships flying foreign flags can fish in our waters” if that can be shown to damage other states and even, the wider international community.

    The above article cites UNCLOS Article 3 but seems to be unaware of the restrictions on a states assertion of the rights grants by Article 3:

    Article 3
    Breadth of the territorial sea
    Every State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up
    to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles, measured from baselines
    determined in accordance with this Convention.

    The UNCLOS requires states to take account of agreements made prior to 1982, ie the EEC. For example:

    Article 15
    Delimitation of the territorial sea between States
    with opposite or adjacent coasts
    Where the coasts of two States are opposite or adjacent to each other,
    neither of the two States is entitled, failing agreement between them to the
    contrary, to extend its territorial sea beyond the median line every point of
    which is equidistant from the nearest points on the baselines from which the
    breadth of the territorial seas of each of the two States is measured. The
    above provision does not apply, however, where it is necessary by reason of
    historic title or other special circumstances to delimit the territorial seas of the
    two States in a way which is at variance therewith.

    Article 59
    Basis for the resolution of conflicts
    regarding the attribution of rights and jurisdiction
    in the exclusive economic zone
    In cases where this Convention does not attribute rights or jurisdiction
    to the coastal State or to other States within the exclusive economic zone, and
    a conflict arises between the interests of the coastal State and any other State
    or States, the conflict should be resolved on the basis of equity and in the
    light of all the relevant circumstances, taking into account the respective
    importance of the interests involved to the parties as well as to the
    international community as a whole.

    Article 62
    Utilization of the living resources
    3 In giving access to other States to its exclusive economic zone under
    this article, the coastal State shall take into account all relevant factors,
    including, inter alia, the significance of the living resources of the area to the
    economy of the coastal State concerned and its other national interests, the
    provisions of articles 69 and 70, the requirements of developing States in the
    subregion or region in harvesting part of the surplus and the need to minimize
    economic dislocation in States whose nationals have habitually fished in the
    zone or which have made substantial efforts in research and identification of
    stocks.

    Even land-locked states have rights under UNCLOS.

    Dispute resolution could be very long and arduous and UNCLOS requires first and foremost cooperation between the parties.

    The EU is not a party to the UNCLOS but its CFP is compliant and it could act on behalf of member states, who are in any case bound by the CFP. UK can expect very strong opposition from EU states and according to the UNCLOS have a strong case.

    The sensible policy for UK is to concentrate on the most damaging aspects of CFP and EU grants that favour continental member states and to improve the management of resources within its EEZ.

    This is one area of Brexit that may well rightly be an extended transition. Gung-ho uni-lateral declarations and assertions will be greatly frowned upon, not just by the EU but by the international community and counter-productive.

  • Peter Gardner

    I want fisheries restored to UK control as much as anyone. I make the comments below to show that it won’t be easy. Fore-warned is fore-armed. Britain will need a thoroughly worked out strategy and gritty determination. The article cites Article 3 of the UNCLOS. It establishes the sovereign rights the industry wants restored to Britain:

    Breadth of the territorial sea
    Every State has the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up
    to a limit not exceeding 12 nautical miles, measured from baselines
    determined in accordance with this Convention.

    Restoring sovereignty, rights and responsibilities will pass automatically to UK unless Mrs May gives them away in exchange for free trade in goods and services. However, it is not enough to deliver control. UNCLOS imposes a duty on UK to co-operate and reach agreement with adjacent and opposite states. It will be necessary to assert Britain’s rights with considerable vigour. UK will not “be able to decide for ourselves to what extent ships flying foreign flags can fish in our waters” if that can be shown to damage other states and even, the wider international community..

    The UNCLOS requires states to take account of agreements made prior to 1982, ie the EEC. For example:

    Article 15
    Delimitation of the territorial sea between States
    with opposite or adjacent coasts
    Where the coasts of two States are opposite or adjacent to each other,
    neither of the two States is entitled, failing agreement between them to the
    contrary, to extend its territorial sea beyond the median line every point of
    which is equidistant from the nearest points on the baselines from which the
    breadth of the territorial seas of each of the two States is measured. The
    above provision does not apply, however, where it is necessary by reason of
    historic title or other special circumstances to delimit the territorial seas of the
    two States in a way which is at variance therewith.

    Article 59
    Basis for the resolution of conflicts
    regarding the attribution of rights and jurisdiction
    in the exclusive economic zone
    In cases where this Convention does not attribute rights or jurisdiction
    to the coastal State or to other States within the exclusive economic zone, and
    a conflict arises between the interests of the coastal State and any other State
    or States, the conflict should be resolved on the basis of equity and in the
    light of all the relevant circumstances, taking into account the respective
    importance of the interests involved to the parties as well as to the
    international community as a whole.

    Article 62
    Utilization of the living resources
    3 In giving access to other States to its exclusive economic zone under
    this article, the coastal State shall take into account all relevant factors,
    including, inter alia, the significance of the living resources of the area to the
    economy of the coastal State concerned and its other national interests, the
    provisions of articles 69 and 70, the requirements of developing States in the
    subregion or region in harvesting part of the surplus and the need to minimize
    economic dislocation in States whose nationals have habitually fished in the
    zone or which have made substantial efforts in research and identification of
    stocks.

    Even land-locked states have rights under UNCLOS.

    Dispute resolution could be very long and arduous and UNCLOS requires first and foremost cooperation between the parties.

    The EU is not a party to the UNCLOS but its CFP is compliant and it could act on behalf of member states, who are in any case bound by the CFP. UK can expect very strong opposition from EU states and according to the UNCLOS have a strong case.
    The sensible policy for UK is to concentrate on the most damaging aspects of CFP and EU grants that favour continental member states and to improve the management of resources within its EEZ.

    This is one area of Brexit that may well rightly be an extended transition. Gung-ho uni-lateral declarations and assertions will be greatly frowned upon and counter-productive.