EU fisheries row: Denmark’s plea to keep access to UK fishing waters exposed

EU fisheries row: Denmark’s plea to keep access to UK fishing waters exposed

This is because, as Brexit trade talks were set to begin, Denmark’s government warned the EU‘s leading figures that the country’s fishing fleets will suffer “severe” economic consequences unless business-as-usual continues in UK waters. The claim was made in a Danish impact assessment run by the University of Copenhagen and commissioned by the country’s government. It compiled data on profit margins and fishing catches from the three years prior, attempting to evaluate how susceptible Denmark’s industry is to the far-reaching effects of Brexit.

The study paints a grim picture for Danish fishermen, as three differing scenarios predicted net profit losses could range from as much as 82 percent to 66 percent.

The worst case scenario for the Scandinavian country estimates possible losses if the EU’s vessels are completely excluded from the UK’s economic zone.

The study claimed that this would decimate Danish landing values by 57 percent and profits by more than three-quarters.

Even a modified deal, in which a new UK would allow fishermen to land the top five most important species from the pre-Brexit period, depending on “historical catch patterns”, would more than halve net profits.

The study acknowledged that its findings do not take into account any price changes that would come about from modified trade agreements or behaviour changes by Danish fishermen.

But the authors also highlighted that Danish fish prices are “mainly determined by world prices” and that Brexit would not lead to “major price effects”.

In a BBC report from March, Danish fishermen voiced their concerns over Brexit.

Fridi Magnussen, owner of the Asbjoern fishing trawler, said: “Sixty percent of our catches come from UK waters, so Brexit is a big issue for us.

READ MORE: France’s post-Brexit fisheries panic revealed: ‘Mess without UK!’

According to NAFC Marine Centre’s data, UK vessels land 32 percent of fish in its waters, while EU states combined take 43 percent.

Norway, which is not an EU member state, takes 21 percent.

This means there are many countries in the bloc where fishermen depend on British waters to allow their businesses to succeed, and therefore could not countenance a no deal scenario despite Michel Barnier’s defiance.

Between 2012-2016 for example, France caught 120,000 tonnes of fish worth £171million, according to Marine Management Organisation figures.

The Netherlands and Denmark both caught around £90million’s worth.

But the UK only gained £17million’s worth of landing from French waters in the same period.

Reports in the last week have suggested that Mr Barnier may fall back from his “maximalist” negotiating stance.

Published at Thu, 28 May 2020 11:55:00 +0000