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Fishing Catches

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 4353, tabled on 23 October 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to protect UK fish stocks from over-fishing after the UK leaves the EU.

Answered on

5 November 2019

The UK Government remains fully committed to sustainable fisheries management and the principle of Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY). This will not change once we are outside the EU and the Common Fisheries Policy. We will continue to work with other coastal states in partnership to sustainably manage shared stocks.

The Government will be reintroducing a Fisheries Bill, which will provide a framework to enable us to continue to push for more stocks being fished at MSY and delivering our ambition for sustainable fishing in the future. The first clause of this Bill will enact several sustainability objectives, one of which is to restore fish stocks to levels capable of producing MSY. The Bill will create a binding duty on the UK Government and Devolved Administrations to produce a statutory Joint Fisheries Statement (JFS). This statement must include policies for the achievement of the sustainability objectives, including on MSY.

We will take back control of our waters ensuring that they are fished sustainably. In England, Defra has worked with the Marine Management Organisation to assess the risk of increased illegal fishing when the UK leaves the EU and strengthened our control and enforcement resources accordingly. We are also working closely with the Devolved Administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure a coordinated approach to fisheries control and enforcement across UK waters.