Friday, 25 November 2016

Brittany’s fishing sector is nervous about the implications for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

According to Telegramme, there is concern over the prospect of UK waters being ‘renationalised’ and reports that at least a third of the value of fish landed in the Breton ports of Le Guilvinec, Loctudy, Roscoff, Erquy, Lorient and Saint-Guénolé is from British waters, with 130 trawlers fishing mainly monkfish, cod, whiting, haddock and langoustine.

70% of the 16,000 tonnes landed annually by Scapêche’s trawlers is from UK waters and to minimise transit costs, the company lands its fish in Lochinver to be trucked to Lorient.

‘The Scots are saying nothing for the moment,’ said Scapêche’s Jean-Pierre le Visage, commenting that no mention has been made of potential access transit tariffs, and that while Scottish MSPs were in favour of remaining Europe, Scottish fishermen are strongly in favour of leaving.

Crabbers in the region around Roscoff are also concerned, as much of their summer fishing grounds lie between the mid line and the UK 12-mile limit, and the implications of the UK withdrawal also threaten future fleet renewal as Scapêche and others have put newbuilding plans on hold.

Telegramme points out that the UK has yet to set out what its plans are, and makes the point that France is the UK fishing industry’s biggest customer, buying 40% of UK fish, which could give France the opportunity to use the threat of import taxes when negotiations finally take place.

The Brittany Regional Fisheries Committee points out that a number of economic sectors, including agriculture, are expected to be affected by the UK withdrawal, while fishermen in the region are making their concerns heard at both regional and national level.

Source: Mer et Marine