The UK-EU Fisheries Framework Agreement lays out the details on the future relationship between the two blocs when it comes to fishing
The Fisheries Framework Agreement under the UK-EU deal lays out the details on the future relationship between the two blocs when it comes to fishing in UK waters.
The biggest controversial talking point of the agreement is the significant uplift in quota for UK fishers, equal to 25% of the value the EU catch in UK waters. This is worth £146m for the UK fleet phased in over five years.
This has become a major area of debate with criticism being levelled from both sides. On the EU side, fishing organisations claim the cut in quota will be catastrophic to their fleet, and on the UK side it is being claimed that the government has not fulfilled the promises given at the start of the Brexit talks.
The agreement on fisheries is laid out in the agreement as below:
Heading Five – Fisheries
- The Agreement provides a framework for our future relationship on matters relating to fisheries.
- The Agreement reflects the UK’s departure from the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy and new identity as a sovereign independent coastal State with the right to manage the resources in its waters. The UK is now free to create its own laws and fisheries management practices to the benefit of fishers and coastal communities across the whole UK.
- The Agreement sets out the objectives and principles for fisheries management which the UK and EU share. It enshrines our joint commitment to sustainable fisheries management alongside shared principles of promoting long-term environmental, social and economic sustainability; protecting juveniles and spawning fish; protecting marine ecosystems; and timely cooperation, including sharing data to manage conservation and combat illegal fishing.
- The Agreement provides for a significant uplift in quota for UK fishers, equal to 25% of the value the EU catch in UK waters. This is worth £146m for the UK fleet phased in over five years. It ends the dependence of the UK fleet on the unfair ‘relative stability’ mechanism enshrined in the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, and increases the share of the total catch taken in UK waters taken by UK vessels to circa two thirds.
- New quota arrangements will be phased in over five years to allow the respective fleets time to adapt to the changed opportunities. There will be also be an adjustment period for access to waters which provide stable access for 5 ½ years. For the adjustment period, the Agreement also provides access to a limited part of the UK territorial waters for vessels which have traditionally fished in those areas.
- Under the framework provided for in this Agreement, the UK will conduct annual fisheries negotiations with the EU alongside negotiations with other coastal States and international organisations regarding Total Allowable Catches for shared stock. These negotiations will also cover access arrangements. 25
- The agreement includes arrangements for compensation if a Party decides not to grant access to its waters and dispute settlement, in the event that a Party breaches the obligations. All such measures must be commensurate to the economic and social impact caused by the actions of the other party and are subject to arbitration.
- The Agreement includes an obligation on each Party to share relevant data and information necessary for implementing the Agreement, as well as ensuring compliance with fisheries management measures to deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
- The Agreement establishes a Specialised Committee on Fisheries which will provide a forum for the UK and the EU to discuss and cooperate on a range of fisheries matters. These include, but are not limited to: cooperation ahead of annual fisheries consultations, multi-year strategies, data-sharing and monitoring and compliance.
- The Agreement can be terminated at any point with nine months notice. If the Agreement is terminated, any obligations of the Parties will continue until the end of the year.
- The Agreement also contains provisions on the Crown Dependencies, which providing those jurisdictions so decide, would allow EU vessels to fish in Crown Dependency waters to levels consistent with historic patterns of fishing while ensuring they can benefit from the goods provisions in the Agreement.