British fishermen to net £100m more this year thanks to Brexit

Fish - Getty
Fish - Getty

Fishermen will be able to net £101 million more in catches this year than would have been possible if Britain were still an EU member.

New analysis published by the Government shows that leaving the bloc has boosted the quota secured by the UK by 117,000 tonnes.

It reveals that overall British trawlermen will have been able to land £262 million worth of extra fish in the first three years of Brexit.

The news will come as another boost to Rishi Sunak after his deal to end the Northern Ireland standoff sailed through the Commons.

Taking back control of fishing waters was a key selling point of Brexit, with Eurosceptics saying doing so would boost coastal communities.

Inside the EU, Brussels set the quotas that determined the maximum number of each species that UK boats could land each year.

Europe losing automatic rights to waters

A trade deal was struck in 2020 which will mean a quarter of the the bloc’s previous share of fish will be transferred to Britain by June 2026.

After that point, European boats will lose their automatic right to use UK waters, meaning the EU will have to haggle with No 10 for annual access.

British officials now enter annual fisheries negotiations with Brussels, Norway and North Atlantic countries such as Greenland and Iceland.

Government figures show that the total tonnage (TACs) boats will be allowed to catch this year has gone up by 11 per cent to 667,000.

That means UK vessels have been granted £754 million worth of fishing opportunities, up from £715 million last year.

The biggest hikes were in quotas for West Coast mackerel and North Sea sole and herring, according to the Environment Department.

“Since leaving the EU, the UK now has a larger share of many of the TACs set at these negotiations,” it said in a statement.

“This uplift is estimated to be worth around £101 million. Since 2021 the UK quota share uplift has gradually increased.”