Fishing for Success

The-fishing-boat-n_3486913bFor the UK, the EU’s Common Fisheries policy is a disaster.  In a booklet called ‘Stolen Seas’, we set out how.  Stay in the EU and the disaster can only continue.

Leave and the world is our oyster!

How do we make it so?  What should a post BREXIT UK fisheries policy look like?

First, we need to understand that the map does not need redrawing but re-colouring.  We need to co-operate across irrational boundaries which are split by EU membership.

This map shows EEZs (Exclusive Economic Zones) in the north Atlantic and Arctic areas.

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It shows how the UK and the Faroes are separated off from Iceland or Norway.  Thus there is a totally irrational EU/non-EU divide – one which illustrates how the UK is shut-off by the EU from our more natural fisheries partners in the North Sea and North East Atlantic.

Actually, it is worse than that.  The Faroes are part of Denmark but not simply buried by it in maritime and fisheries terms.  They have and operate their own Fisheries Zone distinct from Denmark’s and operating outside the European Union.  Incidentally, this shows how, when tough-minded Atlantic islanders refuse to be brow-beaten by centralised authoritarian bureaucracies, they CAN succeed in negotiating new one-off arrangements which work to their advantage.

Now, imagine that Iceland, the Faroes, Norway and the United Kingdom are all the same colour – one which is different from the European Union.

The map becomes much more rational.  

There is a single sensible, North Sea, north-east Atlantic maritime bloc.  (It would be even better and more logical if it was possible to add the Irish – and we would do so if we could.)

What we propose is straight-forward: to co-operate with these nations to operate a rational fisheries policy over a large area.

The detail of the policy would be negotiated between the four (five if Ireland could join.)

There is only one obstacle to this new sensible arrangement: the European Union and its Common Fisheries Policy.

It really is that simple:

– leave the EU

– sit down with Icelandic, Norwegian and Faroese fisheries negotiators

– arrive at sensible arrangements to fish sustainably, free from the daft constraints of the CFP.

No more cod wars; no more one-size-fits all compromises designed as much for the very different circumstances of the Mediterranean, the Bay of Biscay, the Azores and the Canaries; any restrictions and limits freely agreed with our geographically-natural maritime partners.

In maritime and fisheries terms, BREXIT really is the golden opportunity to co-operate with the right people in a geographical areas which makes much more sense – and not be constrained by thinking and approaches which are simply wrong for us in our part of the world.

Oh and, please do not call us, insular little-Englanders for proposing a better future based around co-operation with our ‘natural’ partners in the world’s seas and oceans!

Ray Finch MEP, Tony Brown and Dirk Crols

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