Poll: Public Support Taking Back Control of UK Fishing, Stop Handing Stock to EU

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The UK public strongly backs increasing fishing quotas for British vessels operating in their own waters, polling has found.

The survey comes as fishing chiefs say leaving the European Union (EU) should allow Scottish fishermen to break free of the “straitjacket” of the bloc’s Common Fisheries Policy.

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) slammed the current situation, whereby UK “vessels are currently restricted to 40 percent of the annual catch and the remaining 60 percent is taken by other countries”.

A YouGov poll commissioned by the group showed the public back a better deal for the industry after Brexit.

The research indicated 63.5 percent of voters who expressed an opinion thought quotas should be increased for UK vessels.

The publication of the poll comes as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) demands a cut in the northeast Atlantic mackerel catch for 2019.

The move could see landings slashed by 40 percent and leaves Scottish fisherman, in particular, uncertain of the future of their livelihood.

SFF chief executive Bertie Armstrong said: “It has been evident to those within the industry in the UK for many years that the system is inequitable.

“We have some of the best fishing grounds in the world, yet the straitjacket that is the CFP prevents our boats from catching even a majority of the quota in our own waters.

“That must end with Brexit, and it is pleasing that the public recognise the validity of our arguments about grasping the Sea of Opportunity to ensure that fishing is one of the biggest beneficiaries of Brexit across the UK economy.

“They understand the need for a fairer share of quotas allocated on the basis of sound science to maintain our number one goal of sustainability.”


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