UK fishing rights

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Tessa K
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UK fishing rights

Post by Tessa K » Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:45 am

Can someone explain why Brexit negotiations are making such a big fuss about fishing rights?

I know it's important to the people who do it but it brings in less than 0.1% of GDP and nearly 75% of the catch is sold to the EU.

Is it just a load of blather - sovereignty, take back our seas, our inalienable right to eat soggy cod? Most of the fish we do eat is imported.

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Martin Y
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Re: UK fishing rights

Post by Martin Y » Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:04 am

It's the Marxist Johnson regime's avowed goal to seize control of the means of production of fish the British workers don't eat from the people who bought the rights in good faith.

I mean seriously, people. You put a guy called Boris in charge. Boris. Of course he's a Soviet sleeper agent.

TL/DR I have no idea.

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Re: UK fishing rights

Post by sTeamTraen » Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:20 am

Tessa K wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:45 am
Can someone explain why Brexit negotiations are making such a big fuss about fishing rights?

I know it's important to the people who do it but it brings in less than 0.1% of GDP and nearly 75% of the catch is sold to the EU.

Is it just a load of blather - sovereignty, take back our seas, our inalienable right to eat soggy cod? Most of the fish we do eat is imported.
The romanticised version of fishing appeals to the working class Brexiter demographic. You've got something moderately dangerous being done by people called Dave and not Rupert, struggling small businessmen (never mind the actual financial structure of the industry, we can always find some plank who paid over the odds for a small trawler), the uncertainty of the daily catch, we're an island nation, I like a bit of haddock me, evil foreigners who cheat, etc. It's almost as good as WW2 for the flagshaggers.
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Woodchopper
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Re: UK fishing rights

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Nov 14, 2020 4:46 pm

Fishing is a test of what Brexit means.

The ERG/Express view is that post-Brexit Britain is to be a fully independent sovereign state and so it gets to decide who gets to fish in its waters. No way should a treaty with the EU include rights be permanently given away to the French etc. If those rights are given away then Johnson will have delivered a Brexit In Name Only and should be denounced for selling his countrymen down the river.

Alternatively, the French, Danish etc view is that even after Brexit, Britain remains deeply enmeshed in the European economy and so has to recognize that it has consequent obligations. Specifically, French, Danish etc boats have fished the North Sea and North Atlantic for over a thousand years and Britain has an obligation to let them keep doing that. Asserting their rights is a way of asserting that Britain can’t act like Brexit means that it is now located off the coast of Australia.

So fishing is a test case. How it’s resolved is a symbol of what Brexit means. Symbols are important, especially to the Brexiteers. It isn’t about the contribution to GDP.

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Re: UK fishing rights

Post by Trinucleus » Sat Nov 14, 2020 5:11 pm

Also, Michael Gove's dad lost his job as a fisherman when we joined the EU.

What better reason could there be for not having a trade agreement with the massive economy on our doorstep?

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Bird on a Fire
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Re: UK fishing rights

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:28 pm

The Common Fisheries Policy is pretty sh.t, to be fair, hammering small-scale fishermen and promoting constant intensification of fishing effort that's causing stocks to collapse.

It's also the cause that the assignment of quotas - who can fish what and where - is based in large part on who was fishing what where back in 1973. This is a cause of mass resentment in Portugal, for example, which has the largest EEZ of the EU but can't fish it, because in 1973 it was in the dying days of a dictatorship and all the fishing was still done by hand in little wooden boats. So the rich countries got richer and the poor were prevented from developing.
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Bird on a Fire
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Re: UK fishing rights

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:30 pm

There is an opportunity here for the UK to prevent overexploitation of fish populations in its waters to secure long-term sustainability, which has been a long-term problem with industrial fishing:

The effects of 118 years of industrial fishing on UK bottom trawl fisheries
In 2009, the European Commission estimated that 88% of monitored marine fish stocks were overfished, on the basis of data that go back 20 to 40 years and depending on the species investigated. However, commercial sea fishing goes back centuries, calling into question the validity of management conclusions drawn from recent data. We compiled statistics of annual demersal fish landings from bottom trawl catches landing in England and Wales dating back to 1889, using previously neglected UK Government data. We then corrected the figures for increases in fishing power over time and a recent shift in the proportion of fish landed abroad to estimate the change in landings per unit of fishing power (LPUP), a measure of the commercial productivity of fisheries. LPUP reduced by 94%—17-fold—over the past 118 years. This implies an extraordinary decline in the availability of bottom-living fish and a profound reorganization of seabed ecosystems since the nineteenth century industrialization of fishing.
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Re: UK fishing rights

Post by Lew Dolby » Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:52 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:28 pm
The Common Fisheries Policy is pretty sh.t, to be fair, hammering small-scale fishermen and promoting constant intensification of fishing effort that's causing stocks to collapse.
It's a bit more complicated . . .

it was down to each nation's government to divi up that nation's quota amongst their fishermen. The UK decide to give something like 95% of the quota to 7 large companies (with large boats). This left a tiny amount to be divided over the hundred of small boats.

Small boat owners blaming the EU have chosen the wrong target.
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Re: UK fishing rights

Post by jimbob » Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:02 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 11:04 am
It's the Marxist Johnson regime's avowed goal to seize control of the means of production of fish the British workers don't eat from the people who bought the rights in good faith.

I mean seriously, people. You put a guy called Boris in charge. Boris. Of course he's a Soviet sleeper agent.

TL/DR I have no idea.
I've said elsewhere, that if I wanted an overweight, blond, allegedly alcoholic world leader called Boris, I'd go for Yeltsin - even in his current state
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Bird on a Fire
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Re: UK fishing rights

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:16 pm

Lew Dolby wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:52 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:28 pm
The Common Fisheries Policy is pretty sh.t, to be fair, hammering small-scale fishermen and promoting constant intensification of fishing effort that's causing stocks to collapse.
It's a bit more complicated . . .

it was down to each nation's government to divi up that nation's quota amongst their fishermen. The UK decide to give something like 95% of the quota to 7 large companies (with large boats). This left a tiny amount to be divided over the hundred of small boats.

Small boat owners blaming the EU have chosen the wrong target.
I'm talking about the centralised EU processes of setting Total Allowable Catches (always set higher than scientific advice) and the allocation of quotas amongst member states, not what national governments did with those quotas (which, in the UK's case, did indeed compound the problem).

Small boat owners can only fish close to whatever port they're based in. Big boat owners can go anywhere in EU waters, international waters, African waters, etc. The CFP has forced small boat owners - who have at least some interest in managing stocks sustainably - into competition with big boat owners, who don't, creating what is (anachronistically) called a "tragedy of the commons" situation where everyone is just trying to avoid bankruptcy by overexploiting the resource faster than the other guys.

Local fishing communities have basically no power to reduce catch levels in their local fisheries: the TACs are decided by ministers in Brussels and the fraction of it that goes to the locals was decided decades ago. Plus, of course, if it were a good idea to catch, say, half as much fish, the locals would have to accept making half as much money while the big boats go somewhere else.

Reform should look at increasing the proportion of quotas assigned through 'zonal attachment' (ie it goes to locals, rather than to whichever country was fishing there 50 years ago), increasing local participation in long-term quota setting, give fishery scientists veto power over catch limits, and perhaps finding some way of 'ring-fencing' a certain amount of catch, so that if exploitation of a a fishery has to be drastically reduced for conservation reasons the locals don't feel they have to fight against the limits to avoid bankruptcy.

TLDR neoliberal globalisation isn't the best economic model for environmental management.
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Re: UK fishing rights

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:48 pm

For example, take this table of quotas for Zone IXa, the fisheries zone off the coast of Portugal. https://ec.europa.eu/maritimeaffairs/at ... N/IXa.html

Portugal has a lot of fishers, and they eat a lot of fish, including cod and mackerel.

Of the 5,000 tonnes of cod allowed to be caught from this (overfished) fishery, 0 are allocated to Portugal. France gets most of them.

Of 48,000 tonnes of mackerel (also overfished), Spain gets 40,000 and Portugal gets 8,000.

Portugal is also allocated none of the haddock (8000 tonnes, mostly France), none of the roundnouse grenadier (me neither, but there's 3,500 tonnes of it mostly allocated to Spain). The 8,500 tonnes of Ling are mostly split between Spain, France and UK.

The only fisheries where locals get over half are Horse Mackerel, Norway Lobster and Sole, and the latter two are tiny.

It's a system that works to the benefit of the countries that already had industrialised fisheries in the 1970s and hinders other nations' opportunities to use and manage their coastal resources. Experience from elsewhere suggests that local participation is a massive boon to conservation efforts too (note that 6/9 of the assessed stocks there are overfished).

You can check out the allocations from each fishery zone on this map, if you're worried I'm cherry picking. The situation further offshore from Portugal isn't much better, and even around the Azores and Madeira over half the fishing goes to boats coming from a long way away.

As a result, the country has to import most of its fish, as it can't fish locally and doesn't have the big boats necessary to go and fish somewhere else (other than Morocco, which is basically just exploiting the same problem to even poorer areas).
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Bird on a Fire
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Re: UK fishing rights

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:02 pm

Just looked up the Roundnose Grenadier - turns out it's critically endagered! https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/15522149/15603540

Imagine if the EU was encouraging people to catch thousands of tonnes of pandas.

In summary: the CFP is sh.t. That's not to say that the UK is going to do anything better on its own, of course, but the bar is actually incredibly low in this case. CAP likewise.
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Re: UK fishing rights

Post by individualmember » Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:19 am

Sellers remorse innit?
English fishing businesses flogged their quota allocations for a quick buck when the market for them opened up. Dutch, French, Spanish and Icelanders bought them.

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Re: UK fishing rights

Post by individualmember » Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:23 am

Trinucleus wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 5:11 pm
Also, Michael Gove's dad lost his job as a fisherman when we joined the EU.

What better reason could there be for not having a trade agreement with the massive economy on our doorstep?
Wasn’t it a fish processing business he ran, rather than actually fishing? Collapsed I think because the boats could get a better price by landing their catch in France or Spain due to the fact that those countries are where people eat the kinds of fish that are found in British waters.

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Re: UK fishing rights

Post by plodder » Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:45 pm

Also in the getting Brexit done thread: it's not quotas that have the fishing industry worried right now:

https://mobile.twitter.com/bbcmartynoat ... 5614495744

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