As the events of Brexit continue to unfold and the UK moves to leave the European Union, one of the issues that has been at the forefront of discussion is the potential impact on the fishing industry. For years, EU fishing policies and agreements have governed fishing quotas and access to waters in the area, leaving many wondering whether the new deal will have a negative impact on key fishing stocks.
First things first, it’s important to note that while fishing may have been a hot-button topic throughout the Brexit negotiations, it only accounts for a small percentage of the UK’s overall economy. According to government data, the fishing industry contributed £0.9 billion to the UK economy in 2019, which is less than 0.1% of the country’s overall GDP. However, for those who work within the industry, the consequences of Brexit and the subsequent deal could be significant.
One potential area of concern is the impact on fish stocks. For years, EU policies have been designed to manage stocks and ensure sustainable fishing practices. Under the new deal, the UK will be responsible for setting its own policies and quotas, which could lead to overfishing and a decline in key species. This is particularly true if the UK is unable to negotiate favourable agreements with other countries.
There is also the issue of access to waters. Under the new deal, the UK will have control over its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which extends 200 nautical miles from its coastline. However, many UK fishing vessels have traditionally worked in EU waters, and it remains to be seen how access will be negotiated going forward. If UK vessels are unable to access certain areas, this could result in a loss of income and jobs.
So, what does all of this mean for boaters and fishing enthusiasts? In the short term, the impact is likely to be minimal. Fishing regulations and access agreements are unlikely to change overnight, and there will be a period of transition as new policies are developed and implemented. However, in the long term, there is the potential for a decline in key fishing stocks and changes to traditional fishing areas.
Overall, the Brexit deal certainly has the potential to impact the UK’s fishing industry, and it will be important to monitor the situation closely as policies and negotiations continue to evolve. For boaters and those who enjoy fishing, it’s possible that changes may need to be made in order to adapt to the new landscape. This could include exploring new fishing areas, adjusting tactics to target different species, or even diversifying into other areas entirely. Regardless of what the future holds, one thing is for sure: the fishing industry and UK boaters will need to be prepared for change.