Brexit could bring ‘colossal’ £1.6bn benefit to UK economy.
Reclaiming UK fishing waters should be worth £1.6 billion to Britain’s coastal communities and economy, claims Fishing for Leave (FFL).
And when the approximate value increase from net to plate is added (using government value chain analysis data), this becomes worth a colossal £6.3bn to the UK economy every year – the equivalent of six Type 45 destroyers or 180 new secondary schools.
FFL bases its claims on a detailed computer analysis of how much UK fishing will benefit, in terms of repatriated quotas, after Brexit. It has used catch data from the EU Commission’s scientific, technical and economic committee for fisheries (STECF) database to collate catches for the UK and EU fleets, respectively, in both UK and EU waters.
FFL has applied these figures to the EU shares of the internationally-agreed TACs, to show what the actual division of the TAC shares by species should be between the UK and EU, when the UK takes control of its own 200-mile EEZ.
MMO average prices by species were then added to the software used to analyse the data, to show the value of the quotas.
FFL said its report shows ‘the colossal level of resources that have been stolen from the UK through our membership of the EU and the disastrous CFP, and the abject betrayal of the UK coastal communities and the nation as a whole’.
An FFL spokesman said: “Catch distribution is an accurate reflection of stock distribution. Contrary to some popular misconceptions, EU fishermen do not travel to the UK’s rich fishing grounds for the scenery, but for their fish. Consequently, this FFL database is an accurate representation of the resources to which the UK can rightfully claim sovereignty, under the terms of international law and UNCLOS 3.”
FFL said information supplied by the UK Hydrographic Office showed the waters of the UK’s EEZ are 732,470 sq kilometres – three times the UK land mass of 243,610sq kilometres.
The UK EEZ covers 48% of the ICES fishing zones in the North West EU – with 63% of all catches within the North West EU taken in UK waters and worth £1.3 bn.
FFL said the UK’s rich fishing grounds were the nation’s greatest renewable resource but were surrendered when we joined the EEC in 1973, with its ‘equal access to a common resource’ CFP.
The EU quota system (established in 1983) gave Britain a poor share of many species, and was a political rather than a conservation mechanism to allocate the resources subsumed to EU control.