Thank you for contacting me about the impact of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union on the UK’s fishing industry.
I am pleased to say that in withdrawing from the EU the UK will be leaving the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which allows all European vessels to fish between 12 and 200 nautical miles of the UK and sets quotas for how much fish each nation can catch. We will also withdraw from the earlier 1964 London Fisheries Convention, which allows vessels from five European countries to fish within six and 12 nautical miles of the UK’s coastline.
The CFP has had a profound impact both on the UK’s coastal communities and on the sustainability of our fish stocks. Since 2010 the UK has led reforms, but 40 per cent of fish stocks in the Atlantic, North Sea and Baltic Sea are still being fished at unsustainable levels.
By leaving the CFP, taking back control of our territorial waters, granting access to other countries and allocating quotas all on the basis of what is scientifically sustainable, we can set and follow the very highest standards in marine conservation. At the same time we can support the revival of our coastal communities.
With UK control of waters in our exclusive economic zone we can not only husband fish stocks more wisely, but also ensure that we allow our fishing industry to grow sustainably in the future. Outside the EU, as an independent coastal state, we can be home to world class fishing fleets as well as proving ourselves environmental leaders.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
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