Wednesday, 30 December 2020


Following intense negotiations, an agreement was finally reached with the United Kingdom, which preserves the activity of French and European fishermen in British waters. The agreement specifies that France has until June 1, 2026 to gradually achieve a 25% reduction in its fishing quotas in British waters. France has obtained preservation of access within 6/12 miles as well as in the exclusive economic zone until that date. This also concerns species that are not under quotas, such as sea bass, squid or scallops. 

Negotiations will start with the United Kingdom from January 1 to negotiate quotas for shared stocks. The European countries will come together quickly to work on this new balance, the details of which will only be known in the coming hours.

Support for French fishermen will be available in four forms:

1: Immediate cash flow aid measures for the sector

Fishermen and wholesalers will be able to benefit from a flat-rate aid of up to € 30,000 depending on their dependence on products caught in British waters.

2: Complementary and inseparable from emergency measures

For fishermen, temporary stops will be compensated at 30% of the certified reference turnover, including the remainder at the expense of the partial activity. For those who do not wish to have recourse to temporary shutdowns during this period, compensation for part of the loss of turnover in the first quarter for companies dependent on British waters. For wholesalers, compensation for part of the loss of turnover in the first quarter will be granted if the company is dependent on products caught in British waters.

3: Medium and long term measures

The extension of long-term partial activity for employees of companies dependent on British waters. A fleet exit plan for ships dependent on British waters who wish to stop their activity. State aid for restructuring under the company's job protection plan. The mobilization of the National Employment Fund for training courses lasting 6 to 12 months to validate the acquired experience or retraining in the maritime sector which today creates jobs, particularly the maritime industry. Investment aid within the framework of the recovery plan and the future European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). 4 / The implementation from January 2021 of support for fishing companies affected by Brexit, at national level and in the regions.

The conclusion of this agreement is good news for our fishermen. They will not be excluded from British waters as of January 1, 2021. Fishing has been at the heart of the difficult negotiations for the Brexit agreement and French fishermen have not been the adjustment variable of this agreement. These negotiations were tough but they allow us to build the future of French and European fishing. The conclusion of Brexit was only one step: the Government will very soon present the complete support plan for French fishermen.

Published by the French Government on 12/28/2020