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Business of Food

Defra announces EU-UK fishing deal, bringing value of 2023 fishing opportunities to £750M

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2 min read
AUTHOR: Molly Long
Front view of Caucasian man in early 30s wearing protective workwear and standing at stern working with trawl nets at sea in early morning

The UK fishing industry will benefit from 140,000 tonnes of fishing opportunities worth more than £280 million in 2023, thanks to a new deal struck between Defra and the EU.

Agreed catch levels for 69 important fish stocks were agreed between the two parties, including for some of the “most commercially valuable” stocks for the UK, a Government statement said.

As set out by the deal, the UK fishing industry will be able to catch volumes of Anglerfish up to the value of £31M and Western hake up to £25M.

This is the third consecutive year in which the UK has operated separately from the bloc as an ‘independent coastal state’, the Government said. It added that throughout negotiations with the EU, it worked with the devolved administrations to “ensure fishing communities across the UK will benefit from the agreement”.

Also included in the EU-UK deal is a commitment to work together to provide more sustainable fisheries management.

A Government statement said sustainability was at the heart of negotiations, claiming that “catch levels have been set in line with, or lower than, the level advised by scientists at the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.”

Our agreement with the EU secures valuable fishing opportunities for the UK fishing industry while cementing our joint commitment to manage fisheries sustainably,” said Fisheries Minister Mark Spencer.

These decisions are based on the latest scientific advice to help protect key fish stocks with the long-term health of the marine environment at the forefront of our minds.

News of a EU-UK fishing agreement follows three other such deals achieved by the UK in recent weeks, which puts the total amount of fishing opportunities for the UK industry to £750M.

An agreement between the UK, EU and Norway related to six North Sea fish stocks, including cod, haddock and herring, was signed last week. The Government said it was worth £202M to the country’s fishing industry.

The same week also saw the UK secure catch limits worth a further £256M with the North East Atlantic coastal States.

Understand the impact that unsustainable fishing has on our oceans with this episode of the Food Matters Live Podcast:

Unsustainable fishing – is it too late to turn the tide?


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