During the lockdown, UK ships have been unable to trawl through Britain’s waters. Dutch ships, however, still occupy UK water.
An analysis by Greenpeace has revealed that last month three large scale trawlers arrived in British waters. This has upset many who had fought for Brexit on the grounds that the EU could no longer exploit the UK’s wealth of maritime resources. What makes this so infuriating is that the UK fisherman can do nothing but watch from across the channel.
The consequences of the lockdown on the economy of the fishing industry are particularly great. They compound on the already damaging Common Fisheries Policy, responsible for Britain’s lack of ocean autonomy.
The fishing industry was one of the first industries to feel the economic consequences of lockdown. In late February and early March, large export markets in China, Italy and Spain drastically reduced. Boats had to be docked as they were no longer economically viable.
The closure of restaurants in the UK and abroad has further reduced demand. According to Government plans, restaurants will be among the last businesses to reopen. This means that demand is likely to not increase for some time.
The future of the UK’s Fishing Industry relies on exiting the transition period as quickly as possible. If Britain does not leave on December 31st then the economic consequences will be much compounded.
Our fishing communities are already under economic duress so it is feared that a transition extension could be the last hardship taken. A clean break on December 31st would ensure that our fishing industry would be in the best place to begin long term economic recovery.