G R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher OfferG R Direct - Free Dishwasher Offer
Thursday 25 July 2024
 13.4°C   SSE Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Marine / New study highlights post-Brexit fish landing opportunities

The new fish market in Lerwick opened last year. Photo: John Coutts

THE UK would “soar up the global league table” of fish landings if it followed Norway’s lead in controlling its own waters, according to industry leaders.

A new study from NAFC Marine Centre’s Ian Napier shows that if the UK followed the Norwegian scenario, it would catch more than twice what it currently does.

Norway, which controls its own waters, is believed to land 84 per cent of the fish and shellfish caught in its waters, while for Iceland the figure stands at 95 per cent.

Under the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) more than 70 per cent of the fish and shellfish landed from the UK Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is caught by non-UK vessels.

After 1 January 2021, both government and industry have made it clear that control over access to the UK EEZ will revert to the UK in line with international law, and annual negotiations will be held over fishing opportunities.

An agreement was recently struck between the UK and Norway on fishing arrangements.

Executive officer of the Shetland Fishermen’s Association Simon Collins said the new study “highlights perfectly the inequitable nature of the CFP as far as UK boats are concerned”.

“Far more of the fish in our waters is taken by vessels from other countries than by our own, and nothing rankles more with our members than that,” he said.

“Nobody is saying that we would get to the Norwegian scenario overnight, but the figures show that our ambition to become a truly global player in sustainable fishing is entirely realistic.”

The analysis also showed that the UK’s ranking for fish landings declined from 6th in the 1950s to 25th by the early 2000s.

This reflected both the decline in landings by UK fishing boats and the expansion by other nations exercising historical fishing rights but also buying up UK quota.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


Meanwhile, the Scottish Government and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) have published information and guidance to help the seafood sector prepare for the end of the EU exit transition period.

From 1 January businesses trading with EU member states, European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries and several other countries will do so on a ‘third country’ basis which means they will need to have documentation and certifications in place.

In preparation, the Scottish Government has been working with FSS to collate pre-existing Scottish and UK Government advice for seafood exporters and importers, bringing together relevant information on issues like fishing vessel registration and inspections by local authorities, and guidance on effective monitoring and enforcement of marine and fishing laws.

It also includes information on what the requirements may be for the movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and guidance on how to export and import from 2021.

Rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing said: “Things are more uncertain than ever right now, but we do know that the transition period will end on 31 December 2020.

“We would encourage all parts of the Scottish seafood sector to consider what steps they need to take to prepare for the changes they will face from January 2021.

“This information will continue to be updated as more guidance becomes available.”

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.