Thursday, 11 February 2021

The Food Programme: - All at Sea? Fishing after Brexit


Dan Saladino finds out what the Brexit deal means for the fishing industry. Some exports and logistics companies have seen problems along the supply chain into Europe. Is this just a glitch or a long term issue?

With the UK now outside of the EU's Single Market and Customs Union, new border controls are in place and a new system for exporting goods is in place. One exporter working under this new system is David Noble whose business is based on the Scottish west coast. He describes the delays he has experienced and the extra costs he has encountered.

The company which moves most of the UK's fish across Europe is called DFDS. The head of their 'cold chain', Eddie Green explains the range of factors that disrupted fish exports, from confusion over paperwork to IT system failures.

Dan also looks at some of the longer term questions being posed by the Brexit deal, for example, how much extra fish do we now have access to?

To answer this Dan has some help from Radio 4's More or Less team who not only examined the stats behind the UK's new quota regime but also explained the calculations in a sea shanty (lyrics were by Kate Lamble, to a traditional tune, arranged by Freda D’Souza and mixed by James Beard. The singers were David Denyer, Sophie D'Souza, Will Ashcroft and on bass Moose).

The UK's exclusion zone is also on the agenda. It had been expected to be set at 12 miles but in the Brexit deal it stands at six miles from the coast. People from the industry explain why this is a big issue for them.

But what about the role of British consumers? Can our eating habits help shape the future of the post-Brexit industry? Chef Mitch Tonks explains why we need to eat a more diverse range of fish to help our fishers.

Produced and presented by Dan Saladino for the Food Programme BBC R4.