European Fisheries Alliance (EUFA) chairman Gerard van Balsfoort has slammed the deal being thrashed out between Brexit negotiators as grossly misrepresentative of the actual value of certain stocks to the European fisheries fleet while failing to take previous concessions made to Britain into account.
‘In the fishing industry, we calculate the value of our stock on so much more than a simplistic annual catch value. It is about long-term entitlements or quota rights, which in financial terms represent a Net Present Value (NPV) which is up to ten times the actual value of the annual catch,’ he said.
‘We were appalled at the EU offering 25% of the annual catch value to the UK which in NPV represents close to €1.6 billion. What is even more concerning is that the UK is apparently still asking for more. We insist on a balanced impact among the member states and fleet segments and that there should be no ‘grabbing’ for certain stocks.
Finally, we want a long-term agreement on access and sharing which if access is to be reviewed, a linkage to the wider FTA should form a key part of this review.
Gerard van Balsfoort commented that the time has now passed for Britain to take stock of all the gains its fishermen have enjoyed as part of its EU membership, stating that in the last ten years alone, they have taken more than €800 million worth of additional fish beyond what they would have been entitled to – with the nine EU coastal nations ultimately losing out on this catch.
‘Britain is seriously deluded if it believes that it can seek to retain membership privileges, restrict access to its waters to its erstwhile European colleagues – all to ramp up its own catch post-Brexit transition,’ he said.