‘Losing the will to fish’ Fisherman issues desperate plea to Boris to help industry
Brexit: Retired civil servant discusses fishing row
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The EU and UK came to an agreement in January 2021, resulting in changes to fishing quotas for European vessels in British waters. But EU boats are still able to fish in British waters for another four years as the UK battles to reclaim control of its coastal waters.
The deal ensured 25 percent of EU boats’ fishing rights in UK waters will be transferred to the British fleet over a period of five years.
After that, annual negotiations will decide how the catch is shared out between the UK and EU, and Britain would have the right to completely exclude EU boats after 2026.
However, leading fishing experts have warned Britain’s fishing industry has already been destroyed after 40 years being part of the EU.
Now, Paul Lines, chairman of the Lowestoft Fish Market Alliance, issued a heartfelt plea to the Government to help rebuild the once-thriving British fishing industry.
He told Express.co.uk: “I’m 64 years old and I am slowly losing the will with fishing.
“My last couple of years I am working to get a boat ready for my son.
“And I would like our Government to help him as well and try and make it successful.
“I want to see some recognition for the fishing industry and communities before I die.”
Britain and France have been locked in a row over fishing for months.
The dispute comes after Britain and the EU agreed to set up a licensing system to grant fishing vessels access to each other’s waters when Britain left the bloc.
But France says it has not been given the full number it is due, while Britain says only those lacking the correct documentation have not been granted.
This escalated when France threatened to ask the EU to begin litigation proceedings.
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However, Mr Lines accused former Brexit negotiator Lord Frost of “consigning all fishermen” to the dustbin and urged Liz Truss to invoke Article 16 now.
He added: “Lord Frost consigned all fishermen and fishing industries to the dustbin.
“The only glimmer of hope we have is if Liz Truss invokes Article 16 and scrap the deal.
“Take your boats and p*** off, you’re not coming here.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit fishing deal with Norway has also come under fire, with members of the UK’s fishing industry saying it could not have been much worse.
The deal is estimated to be worth £190million to the UK fishing industry in 2022.
But UK Fisheries chief executive Jane Sandell said she felt “devastated” for the 100-strong crew of the Hull-based Kirkella, which under a previous EU deal could catch 14,000 tonnes of cod in Arctic waters around Svalbard and Norway.
While under the UK-Norway deal announced in December, that has been slashed in half to 7,000 tonnes.
Westminster introduced the Fisheries Act, which was enshrined into law in November 2020.
The act is underpinned by the objective of sustainability and controls who fishes in UK waters through a new foreign vessel licensing regime.
It also gives the UK power to enforce new rules to protect marine protected areas (MPAs) around the country.
Express.co.uk has approached the Government for a comment
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