Brexit deal is ‘best of both worlds’ for local fishermen

Brexit deal is ‘best of both worlds’ for local fishermen

6 January 2021

THE Brexit fisheries deal with the European Union is good news for the Ardglass fishing industry.

That’s the view of former fishermen’s leader Dick James, who says Ardglass and the other Co Down fishing ports can look to the future with confidence.

Mr James, former chief executive of the Northern Ireland Fish Producers’ Organisation, says an increase in quotas for key catches will benefit fishermen.

At the same time the non-imposition of tariffs on exported fish to EU markets, will underpin the future of the processing industry.

Mr James that while some areas of the UK had done badly from the Brexit deal, local fishermen should be pleased with the outcome.

“The deal is good news for our fishermen and should secure investment and new jobs in the industry,” he said.

In the Irish Sea the amount of herring which can be caught by UK fishermen will rise from the current figure of 76% to 89% in 2021 and 99% in 2025.

In the crucial prawn sector, the UK quota for Area 7, which includes the Irish Sea, will go from 32% currently to 38% in 2021 and 42% in 2025.

There will also be increases in the UK quotas for other types of fish, including haddock, cod and whiting.

Mr James said: “We have got the best of both worlds. Our fishermen can land more fish and we can continue to trade with the Continent relatively unfettered.

“This is particularly important when you consider that most of the prawns we catch locally are exported to Spain.

Mr James said the deal has already boosted confidence. “I know of one new boat coming to Ardglass and we are looking at another two,” he said.

“The increase in the herring quota secures the future of two herring processing factories in Ardglass and another in Kilkeel.

“This deal guarantees the future of fishing in Ardglass and should encourage more local people to seek employment in the industry.”

Mr James said it would also add impetus to the campaign for improvements to the harbour in Ardglass.

These include deepening the harbour, improving berthing and landing facilities and providing berthing pontoons for smaller vessels.