The EU and UK agree on fishing opportunities for 2024

The EU and the United Kingdom have reached an agreement for more than 85 total allowable catches (TACs) in the northeast Atlantic.
A fishing boat heads out to sea in the Bay of Biscay.
A fishing boat heads out to sea in the Bay of Biscay.Photo: Adobe Stock.

The EU and the United Kingdom reached agreement on 8 December about fishing opportunities in the northeast Atlantic for 2024, for more than 85 total allowable catches (TACs).

The percentages for shared fish stocks between the EU and UK are defined in the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. Each year, both parties engage in consultations to determine fishing rights for the upcoming year.

This time around, the deal has secured fishing opportunities in the northeast Atlantic of almost 388,000 tonnes for the EU fleet, estimated to be worth around €1 billion (approximately £855 million) based on historic wholesale prices, adjusted for inflation.

From the UK side, the bilateral deal with the EU has landed fishing opportunities of 130,000 tonnes for UK fishermen in 2024, worth up to £340 million (almost €398 million).

Fishing quota agreement takes sustainability into account

"The agreement we reached will secure fishing opportunities for fishers on both sides of the Channel, Irish Sea, and North Sea," said Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries.

"It takes into account the sustainability of stocks and the socioeconomic impact for fishers, providing protection for our ocean and certainty for our fishers. The agreement establishes a strong basis to continue cooperating in fisheries management with the UK."

Stocks negotiated with non-EU countries such as the UK and Norway represent the vast majority of the stocks of interest for EU member states.

Announcing the successful conclusion of the bilateral agreement, the EU stressed that both parties were guided by the best available scientific advice on the status of fish stocks.

Socioeconomic considerations were also taken into account to avoid "choke situations" that would lead to a premature closure of certain fisheries, the EU said.

UK increases its total fishing opportunities by 80,000 tonnes, reaching total of 750,000 tonnes for 2024

In a separate trilateral deal between the UK, EU and Norway, the UK also secured access to opportunities of 290,000 tonnes of North Sea stocks, worth around 360 million.

The deals, combined with other catch limits negotiated with other coastal states in the northeast Atlantic earlier in the year, brings the UK's total fishing opportunities to 750,000 tonnes in 2024 - 80,000 tonnes more than in 2023 - worth an estimated £950 million based on historic landing prices.

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