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Small UK fishing fleet at serious risk

Staff Writer | May 5, 2018
Small scale coastal fishermen are at risk of going out of business, the chairman of the Coastal PO and executive director of the Low Impact Fishers of Europe has warned.
Small UK fishing fleet
Britain   Massive challenges
Jeremy Percy said that the under 10m fleet in many parts of the UK is declining, along with the coastal communities it has previously been able to support, but this has been left unaddressed amidst discussion around Brexit.

He stated: “Unless something concrete and dramatic is done to help in the immediate future then the ever more seemingly ephemeral promises of a post Brexit windfall of quota and access will be meaningless to those small scale coastal fishermen who have gone out of business in the meantime.”

The under 10m fleet faces “massive challenges” to their survival without the economic advantages held by the larger scale fleet in the UK, Mr Percy said.

He said that with what experts consider to be “an ever increasing transition period” and “in light of the clear weakness of the UK’s negotiating position” the under 10 fleet is “stuck in limbo, struggling, and often failing to survive with only a couple of per cent of the overall UK quota allocation.”

Referring to Seafish’s 2017 economic analysis, which said that the UK fleet had seen record annual profits, Mr Percy pointed out that the remaining three quarters of the UK fleet “are being starved of the means of production and survival.”