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[Blog] Sustaining and trading fish in the north

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posted on 2023-06-10, 06:20 authored by Erika Szyszczak
The preoccupation in the final stages of the Brexit talks with an industry that contributes 0.12% to GDP and employs less than 0.1% of the UK workforce baffles commentators. Control over fishing waters owes more to maintaining the British psyche rather than economic arguments. Amidst fears that the traditional UK fish and chip supper could be at risk without a fisheries deal with the EU, the UK has put in place a series of Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with four Northern fishing nations; Greenland, Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. The MoU set out general principles and processes and therefore do not set out the allocation of fishing quotas. They will come into effect on 1 January 2021 and will set the scene for a future Northern fisheries policy. Each of these countries has an interest in supplying fresh fish, especially good quality shell fish to the UK and the EU. But given the small population and industrial base of each country, reliance is also placed on supplying fish for processing, even to countries outside of the EU, such as Ukraine and China. A proportion of the traded fish products to the UK are semi-finished fish products, which play a role in economic value-creation and employment, through the further processing and preparation of the products by UK companies.


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Falmer, Susssex

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  • UK Trade Policy Observatory Publications

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