Brussels – January 31st
A new chapter in the EU-UK relations begins today when the UK will be leaving the European Union. The European Fisheries Alliance (EUFA) believes that it is time to look ahead. The upcoming negotiations will give us the opportunity to build a new, strong and long-term joint framework for sustainable fisheries management that benefits both EU and UK fishing fleets and fishing communities across the continent
As the UK will leave the EU Common Fisheries Policy by the end of 2020, we are looking back on many centuries of shared use of our seas by our fishermen, of which the last four decades in close collaboration under a joint management system. The timeframe to negotiate the future relationship between the EU and the UK is ambitious. However, we are confident that if we build constructively on the existing rules and consider fisheries in its wider context of the upcoming economic partnership, we can achieve a new agreement that does justice to the complex reality on the ground.
We therefore decided to publish our vision for the future in a position paper entitled “Building a sustainable, strong and mutually beneficial joint Fisheries Management post-Brexit”. We strongly believe that the future relationship should be based on four core principles: building the fisheries framework in the context of the wider EU-UK economic and trade relationship, maintaining the current allocation of fishing opportunities for the benefits of EU and UK fleets, maintaining mutual access to waters as well as the continuation of sound, long-term fisheries management for our shared stocks.
EUFA Position Paper (PDF)
EUFA Chairman Gerard van Balsfoort stated that: “Brexit is undoubtably an uncertain moment for European Fishermen, their businesses and their communities. It is now time to look ahead, acknowledge our mutual interdependence and end this uncertainty. We need to build a new, long-term common framework for sustainable fisheries management. One that preserves the existing distribution of fishing opportunities and upholds mutual access to waters and markets.
He added: “We are grateful that Michel Barnier and the EU Member States have recognized the challenge inherent to our sector. Both the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration are a good basis for the upcoming talks. We now have an opportunity to turn political commitments into a concrete, long-term and mutually beneficial fisheries management framework in the context of the overall economic and trade partnership.”
About the European Fisheries Alliance
The European Fisheries Alliance is a coalition of European fishing fleets directly impacted by Brexit. Our current members include fishermen organizations from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden. The Alliance accounts for over 18,000 fishermen and 3,500 vessels across the up and downstream industry, with an annual turnover €20.7 billion.