Brussels, 23 October 2020 – Press Release
The United Kingdom has significantly benefited from additional fish quotas for species very important to the UK from the start of Common Fishery Policy. This must be fully taken into account when negotiating the future allocation keys.
EUFA Chairman Gerard van Balsfoort stated: “Based on detailed analyses that EUFA has carried out we can show beyond any doubt that the UK as part of the EU has enjoyed a significant top-up of their fish quotas for a number of species very important to the UK. This is valued at over €100 million per year over the last 10 years. The two special treatments the UK was granted at the start of the Common Fishery Policy in 1983, ten years after the UK joined the EU, were The Hague Preferences and the compensation for Jurisdictional Losses. The UK received these benefits as part of the EU and now that it is leaving it cannot take these benefits with it. The starting point in any negotiations must therefore be without these benefits”.
He added: “EUFA firmly believes that the current fishing rights allocation based on traditional fishing patterns, embedded in an agreement on reciprocal access to each other’s fishing grounds and markets, and joint sustainable management of our shared stocks, must be maintained”.
The Hague Preferences work out as an effective 15.6 % top-up to major UK fish quotas.
The Jurisdictional Losses amount to another 26% increase of the UK share in fish quotas essentially important to the UK.
Both preferential treatments granted to the UK have been paid for by the other member states’ fleets.
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 The Hague Preferences: the current allocation of fishing opportunities in the EU reflects historical practice on shared fishing grounds. Each Member State is granted a share in each fish stock corresponding to its historical activity. The UK has been an integral part in setting up that system. As part of EU the UK has been granted, along with Ireland, the possibility to trigger an increase of their share in a number of fish stocks. This results from a political decision by the EU about specific circumstances of several Member States known as “The Hague Preferences”. Over the past 10 years this resulted in 15.6% additional quotas for the UK for the fish stocks concerned.
 Jurisdictional Losses: the UK was also granted at the time additional quota shares of 26% on average for 7 fish stocks principally important to the UK. This second privilege was linked to the loss of fishing grounds for the UK fleet in third country waters during the ‘70s.