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In a new report published by the Government entitled ‘The Benefits of Brexit’, the Cabinet Office detail key achievements following Britain’s departure from the trade bloc. The policy document outlines how the UK is capitalising on the benefits of Brexit, and according to the GOV.UK website also explains “how the Government will use its new freedoms to transform the UK into the best-regulated economy in the world”.
One page of the document entitled “Taking Back Control” details that one key element of the decision to leave the EU, was to “restore the UK’s status as a sovereign, independent country so that we can once again determine our own future.”
It outlines that this would be done through changing rules and regulations to best serve the priorities of the British people.
One key element noted on the list was taking back control of British waters, and the Cabinet Office highlights one key element of making this change – the Fisheries Act, which was launched in 2020.
The Bill makes provisions to fisheries, fishing, aquaculture and marine conservation.
Taking back control of our waters! Report lays out Brexit plans to save fishermen (Image: Getty)
The Government hopes to capitalise on Britain’s position as a “world leader in fisheries science” (Image: Getty)
The report says that in addition to introducing this Bill, the Government has also struck a deal with the EU to “allow us to chart a course once again as an independent coastal state”.
It adds these both “bring more quota for British fishermen and new opportunities for our coastal communities”.
The Government claims this will benefit regions across the UK, ranging “from Lerwick and Peterhead at the north-eastern end of Scotland to Brixham and Newlyn at the south-western tip of England.”
Later in the policy document, it outlines the intention for “a more competitive and profitable fishing industry for the whole UK that is the gold standard for sustainable fishing around the world”.
It boasts that British waters contain some of the historically richest fishing grounds in the world, which are back in control of the UK post-Brexit.
It reads: “As an independent coastal state, under international law, we are in control of the seas that make up our exclusive economic zone.”
It goes on to note that being outside the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, the UK can establish regulations that are tailored to our unique marine environment.
Not having to comply with the EU’s policy also comes with benefits – namely that the Government can be more “ambitious environmentally”
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It notes that future fishing policies can be made “truly sustainable” and that they can utilise policies that “protect and enhance marine habitats, in line with the goals of our 25-year environment plan.”
The Government also hopes to capitalise on Britain’s position as a “world leader in fisheries science and marine conservation”.
It says this will be done by utilising the expertise and the flexibility that comes from new fishing opportunities to “pioneer new approaches to managing fish stocks, which work better and in the interests of both the fishing industry and the environment.”
To achieve this vision, the Fisheries Management Plans “will set out how we will maintain and restore fishing stocks to sustainable levels”, and the plans will be bespoke to specific fisheries or areas.
These plans will be co-created and developed in partnership with the fishing industry, and the report adds: “While there will still be restrictions on fishing activities, in the longer term the fishing industry will benefit from healthier fish stocks.”
There are also plans to bring the fishing industry up to date through the investment in digitisation and automation of record-keeping, data gathering and analysis, alongside control and enforcement.
The Fisheries Act makes provisions to fisheries, fishing, aquaculture and marine conservation. (Image: Getty)
An improvement in technology and automation will mean fishermen spend more time fishing and less time filling in records, and the report also says this comes with other benefits.
It says: “Early adoption of certain technologies could result in access to more areas or quotas.”
Moreover, plans are also outlined for regulations co-created with the industry.
The policy says: “Close and collaborative working will improve the relationship and trust between fishermen, scientists and regulators and this should translate to better science as expertise and resources are better targeted.”
Now that Britain is an Independent Coastal State, the Fisheries Act 2020 gives the UK power to enable us to better protect our Marine Protected Areas.
Currently, a three-year programme of work is underway “to implement restorative measures in all our offshore sites”.
The policy adds: “We have also committed to piloting a number of Highly Protected Marine Areas, which will have the highest levels of protection in our seas to allow nature to fully recover.”