UK fishing The UK is preparing to set provisional catch limits for UK-EU shared fish stocks. Photo: Quentin Bates

The UK Government intends to set provisional catch limits for UK-EU shared fish stocks for the remainder of 2021 if an agreement with the EU is not in place by Wednesday 14 April.

Annual negotiations on fishing opportunities with the EU are yet to conclude. As an interim arrangement, the Government has extended the current provisional determination of UK fishing opportunities until 14 April 2021. This determination will be replaced on or before 14 April with new provisional catch limits, in the absence of agreement with the EU, to provide industry with clarity about their fishing opportunities until 31 December 2021.

Environment Secretary, George Eustice, said: “We are committed to cooperating with the EU to reach an agreement. However, any agreement reached must be in the best interests of UK fishermen and we will not accept a poor deal.

“We have set provisional catch limits to allow these negotiations to conclude, and we will take steps to ensure that our fishermen have the certainty that they need – whatever the outcome.”

Government aims

Any deal reached must recognise sovereignty over UK fishing waters and respect the importance of the sustainable management of shared fish stocks, said the Government.

It added, as an independent coastal State, the UK is also able to set its own regulations for other measures that are not agreed with the EU. These include special conditions and footnotes for Total Allowable Catches (TACs), seabass management regulations, and non-quota species regulations.

The UK will continue to cooperate with the EU on the sustainable management of fisheries.

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