I am writing a paper for my class in “Globalization and the Market Economy” and was asked to post a blog about my research so far. My topic deals with Brexit and the implications of the fisheries around the UK. As a part of the EU, the UK was subject to the rules set up under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The CFP, introduced in the 1970’s, put limits on the catches of fish to help sustain the populations. In the long run, everyone should also benefit economically because the maximum sustainable yield is seriously taken into consideration.
Before setting the limits, biological data needed to be collected, managed, and analyzed. The Data Collection Framework Regulation was established by the EU in 2000, under a different name, where “the Member States collect, manage and make available a wide range of fisheries data needed for scientific advice” (Fisheries Data Collection web site). The EU site on fisheries states that fishermen self-report their data on catches and releases. Even with new data, the fishing quotas were fixed in 1983, based on a 5-year collection span in the 1970’s, for each member state.
I found out that not only are there limits on what can be caught, but every member state in the EU must have access to the seas. For the UK, this includes between 12 and 200 nautical miles off the UK coastline. This may have had some serious ramifications for traditional fishing communities.
After Brexit was decided, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs of the UK, Michael Gove announced that Britain would exit the CFP. However, as reported by the Guardian, diplomats in Brussels have “agreed that Britain should effectively remain governed by the EU’s common fisheries policy during the transition but should not have a role in deciding the size of catches elsewhere in Europe.”
The London School of Economics claims that the UK is to be blamed more than the EU on the plight of the fishing industry. A graph shows that the number of vessels in UK ports started to decrease before the quota management, so correlation does not equal causation. Every member state has a certain percentage of the total they can catch. Open Democracy pointed out that there’s one Dutch vessel that “holds 23% of English fishing quota” because the vessel is considered English by the UK government.
I have a lot more writing to do for this paper, but I’ve uncovered some fascinating things to build on! I think that the UK fishing industry will still be tied with the rest of the EU with or without the CFP. After Brexit, leaders can make decisions that are not only good for the nation immediately but have some foresight to continue sustainable yields.
“Data Collection Framework.” 2014. GOV.UK. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/data-collection- framework (accessed June 13, 2018)
"EU to hold Britain to fishing quotas during Brexit transition.” 2018. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jan/11/eu-to-hold-britain-to-fishing-quotas-during-brexit-transition (accessed June 13, 2018)
“Fisheries Data Collection web site.” Joint Research Centre. European Commission. https://datacollection.jrc.ec.europa.eu/ (accessed June 13, 2018)
“Questions & Answers about the state of play on implementing the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and Fishing Opportunities in the EU for 2019.” Food, Farming, fisheries. European Commission. https://ec.europa.eu/fisheries/questions-answers-about-state-play-implementing-common-fisheries-policy-cfp-and-fishing_en (accessed June 13, 2018)
“The EU Common Fisheries Policy has helped, not harmed, UK fisheries.” 2016. Open Democracy.
https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/griffin-carpenter/eu-common-fisheries-policy-has-helped-not-harmed-uk-fisheries-0 (accessed June 14, 2018)
“The grievances of the fishing industry would be better aimed at the UK government, not the EU.” The London School of Economics. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/55439-2/ (accessed June 14, 2018)