Brexit deal puts UK fishermen in uncharted waters
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BY DAPHNE ROUSSEAU (AFP) DEC 28, 2020 IN BUSINESS
The fishermen of Ramsgate, a once thriving seaside town in southern England, had high hopes that Brexit would bring back the pre-EU glory days of teeming catches and lively fish auctions.
Britain had insisted it wanted to take back control of its waters while EU coastal states sought guarantees that their fleets could keep fishing in UK waters.
“We’ve been sold out by Boris!” fumed John Nichols in his Ramsgate cottage overlooking the English Channel, referring to Prime Minister Johnson.
Nichols, president of the Thanet Fishermen’s Association representing around 40 boats, said they were looking forward to a return to the days before frozen rectangles of cod could be imported from far away.
They fought for stricter quotas and stepped-up checks, especially against Dutch “electric pulse fleets”, a method that Nichols said sterilises fish stocks.
Instead, last week London and Brussels reached a compromise that will see European boats gradually relinquish 25 percent of their current quotas during a five-and-a-half-year transition period.
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