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Saturday, 5 August 2017

Listen to the Guardian's podcast from Jon Henley on fishing and Brexit.

Cornish fishermen held a protest of their own on the eve of the Referendum Vote.
Jon Henley and his team of experts dive into the murky waters of the UK fishing industry, one of the loudest voices for the leave campaign. What is the future of fisheries now that just over half of us voted out of the EU? Could we go it alone or are we heading for a fishy deal?

Listen to the podcast from the Guardian's Jon Henley and other experts.

Fishing is not a big industry: it represent less than 1% of the UK’s GDP. But it is a big Brexit deal. Partly, that’s because British fishermen believe the EU and its Common Fisheries Policy have crippled their industry, and partly because fishing is about borders, territorial waters, lines you can draw chart – a demonstrable expression of the Brexit mantra of “taking back control”.

Joining Jon Henley to discuss what the future looks like for British fishing are three expert guests. Andrew Kuyk, representing the UK Seafood Industry Alliance, which groups together the companies that process and trade fish in the UK; Guardian environment correspondent Fiona Harvey, and Barrie Deas, the chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations.

Get the full Brexit story courtesy of the Guardian.

Barry Deas starts his thoughts by taking a historical look at the UK's share of crucial stocks like cod and haddock - by way of example, France has 80% and the UK 9% of Area VII Cod with haddock a similar story - both these fisheries have seen huge amounts of fish dumped by UK boats in the South West.

Andrew Kyuk for the SeafoodAlliance takes as his starting point his concerns that if things aren't managed properly then consumer confidence in fish as a sustainable product will be damaged - but as a recent (US based) survey showed, the vast majority of consumers are not concerned about food security and conservation or sustainability at all - read this recent Through the Gaps post with the survey results - that in all likelihood mirror those of consumers here.  

Fiona Harvey talks about global fish stocks being largely overfished and on the brink of collapse tarring UK NE Atlantic stocks almost with the same brush. She also talks about destructive methods like scallop dredging - without acknowledging that the areas dredged by UK scallop boats is a tiny proportion of our waters - and the same areas have been fished for generations.

Barry Deas, as expected is much more upbeat when it comes to the state of play today.