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UK and EU reach agreement on fishing opportunities for 2022

The UK and EU reach agreement on catch limits for 2022, providing around 140,000 tonnes of fishing opportunities for the UK fleet.

The UK-EU catch limits, known as Total Allowable Catches, have been agreed for around 70 fish stocks. They will provide around 140,000 tonnes of fishing opportunities for the UK fleet, estimated to be worth around £313 million, based on historic landing prices.

The agreement also commits the UK and the EU to rapidly develop multi-year strategies for non-quota species, to ensure sustainable management of these stocks. The UK and the EU exceptionally agreed not to apply tonnage limits for non-quota stocks in 2022, meaning that non-quota stocks will be treated in the same way as in previous years.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said:We have now concluded negotiations with the EU, setting catch levels for 2022. As an independent coastal State, we entered discussions representing the interests of the entire UK fishing industry and have secured certainty for the incoming year.The balanced agreement made today provides a strong foundation as we seek to deliver more sustainable fisheries management, as set out in our landmark Fisheries Act.

UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord said:Today’s agreement gives certainty to the sector in Scotland. It maximises opportunities for our fishing industry and the communities it supports, a benefit of our status as an independent coastal state.

We are paving the way for a strong future in fishing, alongside improvements to be made from the UK Government’s £100m UK Seafood Fund.

The agreement with the EU also provides a commitment, via the Specialised Committee on Fisheries established under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, to hold constructive discussions on specific issues relating to fisheries management.

The focus of the work of the Committee for the first half of 2022 will be:

  • A mechanism for in-year quota exchanges
  • Development of multi-year strategies for non-quota species
  • Reviewing existing measures permitting quota flexibility
  • Working with ICES on a range of issues (including biological stock – TAC management area alignment issues, stocks without ICES advice, considering how we can better manage mixed fisheries making use of ICES advice and seeking to improve the ICES catch allocation tool for sea bass).
  • Interpretation of ICES advice on skates and rays.
  • Reviewing data collection and sharing.

This is the second time in which the UK has participated in negotiations with the EU as an independent coastal State, following the signing of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the UK and EU in 2020.