Fishing for Leave recently made a submission to the House of Lords Energy and Environment committee in response to questions posed by the committee as it investigates Brexit in regard to Fisheries.
The full document is uploaded below, however Fishing for Leave outlined these key points-
1) UK should ensure complete withdrawal as per Article 50 and repeal the European Communities Act 1972. This automatically restores all fisheries control and resources to the UK as per international law under UNCLOS III.
2) That Brexit is a massive opportunity to rebuild and reclaim the huge level of resources lost. With approx. 70% / £1.6bn taken from UK waters for free every year by the EU fleet a multi billion pound industry can be reclaimed to benefit the nation.
3) How the nation/peoples resource was surrendered and considered expendable to join the EEC. The level of devastation and degradation the CFP has caused to the UK fishing industry, communities, a way of life and the marine environment they depend upon.
4) Emphasised that the CFP is a failed system and should not be replicated or rolled over into UK law in anyway for political convenience and vested interests.
5) With the richest fishing grounds and lions share of resources reciprocal access is a one way street hugely detrimental to the UK’s interests. Consequently the UK should exclude the EU fleet from UK waters. Future access should be on equal exchange individual needs basis. Reciprocal access should not be a continuation of equal access in all but name!
6) Although free trade on fisheries products is preferable it should not be seen as critical nor override the reclamation of the huge level of resources repatriated to the UK – you need to be able to catch before you can sell.
7) That equal access, quotas, relative stability and historic rights are entirely EU constructs and mechanisms and will be no longer applicable. They should not be recognised nor continued as it would continue the CFP into UK law trapping the industry with the status quo.
8) The UK must look to construct an entirely new fit for purpose management regime – one that fits with our marine ecology and is applicable to UK mixed demersal fisheries where quotas have failed. The policy should look to be inclusive and to the benefit of all.
9) Sustainability is key to fishermen and must be the foundation- MSY is a noble aspiration but too arbitrary and takes no account of stock dynamics – the UK should look to the Faroe pyramid based ecological model.
10) UK must have a discards reduction policy not an arbitrary ban. The UK must address the legislative cause of discards (quotas in a mixed fishery) not ban the symptoms. Catch quotas will never work in a mixed fishery and will ruin the remainder of the fleet.
11) Any new system must transition away from quotas in a mixed fishery but MUST preserve FQA units in the new system as the industry has been forced to invest in them.
12) That an allocations amnesty should happen. Current investments in allocations should be left in situ but all repatriated and future fisheries resources should be de-monetarised and held as the nations resource in a government pool to benefit/rebuild all the industry and communities
13) The UK should look to co-operate in a broad, unbinding framework with Norway and the other Nordic nations which together would control the majority of NE Atlantic fisheries resources, supply and markets.
14) The UK must grasp this opportunity and aim high outwith the CFP prison to rebuild not replicate. We must look to the long term rather than the short to appease vested interests or political convenience. Anything less would be a betrayal of the opportunity, Brexit and the Nation.