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Fisheries Convention

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL4649, tabled on 11 January 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implications for inshore fishermen of their decision to withdraw from the London Fisheries Convention of 1962; and whether, in the light of withdrawal from that Convention, inshore fishermen will be able to access the UK cod fishing quota in future.

Answered on

23 January 2018

The UK gave notice of its intention to withdraw from the 1964 London Fisheries Convention on 3 July 2017. This is a procedural step to make sure that we are able to control access to UK waters after we leave the EU. Withdrawal from the Convention will make sure that there is a clear and open basis on which to start negotiations on future fisheries agreements.

It is estimated that between 2013 and 2015, UK vessels caught between 500-600 tonnes of fish worth between £519,000 and £862,000 in the 6-12nm zone of other Member States. Between 11,000 and 12,000 tonnes of fish per year is caught by non-UK vessels within the UK’s 6-12nm zone with an estimated value of between £16 and £18 million. This estimate is applicable to vessels of 15 metres and over only. There are no estimates for vessels of less than 15 metres.

When the UK leaves the EU, we will be an independent Coastal State. We will have rights and obligations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to control and manage our territorial waters (0-12nm) and Exclusive Economic Zone (out to 200 nautical miles or the median line with other states). Access to UK waters for non-UK vessels and access for UK vessels to other Coastal States waters will be a matter for negotiation. UK vessels will continue to be able to fish against UK quotas in UK waters.