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Brexit fishing win as new measures unveiled in ‘clear departure’ from hated EU policy

Brexit fishing win as new measures unveiled in ‘clear departure’ from hated EU policy

The proposals form part of the post-Brexit regime for fishing in British waters and take advantage of freedoms outside the bloc.

Therese Coffey

Environment Secretary Therese Coffey (Image: GETTY)

Britain today unveiled new measures to help the fishing industry thrive post-Brexit.

Environment Secretary Therese Coffey said the changes are a “clear departure” from the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, which was widely blamed by trawlermen for decimating the UK’s fishing communities.

The six Fisheries Management Plans are the first of 43 which are aimed at managing stock more sustainably.

Ms Coffey said: “The UK has some of the finest fish stocks in the world, forming an integral part of healthy marine ecosystems while providing livelihoods, enjoyment and prosperity to coastal communities.

“Today’s reforms mark a clear departure from the outdated Common Fisheries Policy now we are an independent coastal state, and will deliver the UK’s ambition to build a modern, resilient and profitable fishing industry underpinned by sustainable fish stocks and a healthy marine environment for the future.”

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The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said it has spent the last 18 months speaking to fishing experts and scientists to devise the proposals.

They include removing an individual cap on the quota for around 400 vessels under 10 metres, currently set at 350kg a year, though they will still be subjected to a pool quota.

A consultation will also be launched on large industrial trawlers fishing in English waters installing cameras, known as remote electronic monitoring (REM), to monitor their catch.

The technology can gather data while fishing boats are at sea on the amount, size and species of fish caught as well as information on accidental bycatch of sea birds or whales and dolphins

Mike Cohen, chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, added: “For centuries, fishing has produced food, provided jobs and supported communities.

“Measures to strengthen fishing businesses and enhance their sustainable growth will bring tangible benefits to the UK.

“Fisheries Management Plans represent a genuinely ambitious attempt to break away from the unsuccessful top-down impositions of the CFP and unite fishers, scientists and regulators in building something new and better.

“Fishermen’s livelihoods depend on healthy seas and sensible regulations. We welcome this opportunity to collaborate in shaping them.”

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