Brexit and the seafood sector

Since the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum (aka the Brexit referendum), several projects have been initiated from both sides of the English Channel to understand the potential effects of the UK exit on the European seafood sectors (for the UK and the EU27).

At Sakana Consultants, we have been involved in several trade analysis for both sides (UK and EU), which led to the publication of several high-level reports (mostly non-public) and peer-reviewed articles.

Don't hesitate to contact us for any ad-hoc research on Brexit.

Research for PECH Committee

Common Fisheries Policy and BREXIT - Trade and economic related issues

During the first semester 2017, Sakana Consultants worked with Bertrand Le Gallic (University of Brest) and Simon Mardle (FishOR) on a report for the PECH Committe of the European Parliament, detailing the potential trade impacts of the UK Exit of the European Union.

The aim of this study is to present a description of the bilateral trade between the UK and the EU-27 in different possible scenarios, based on relevant case-studies. Also the study describes the main markets of fish and fisheries products and economic-related issues. It provides an economic analysis of the expected consequences of Brexit.

This report was published in June 2017, under the reference: IP/B/PECH/IC/2017-033 PE 585.913.

Fish market

Brexit and Fisheries: A Question of Conflicting Expectations

Following the European Parliament report, the three main authors (Bertrand Le Gallic, Simon Mardle and Sébastien Metz) were invited to write an article in a special edition of EuroChoices.

The UK fishing sector has been under the spotlight since the beginning of the Brexit debate. Political commentators claimed that up to 90 per cent of British fishers supported Brexit as they considered the UK was disadvantaged compared to other EU Member States. Their main grudge is about the equal access that all Member States have had to all EU waters – with the exception of territorial waters, up to 12 nautical miles from the coast – since the formal inception of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in 1983. Combined with what they perceive to be an unbalanced allocation of fishing quotas, this legal framework is thought by the UK fishing industry to be the main reason for the poor management of EU fisheries, which could be terminated following Brexit thus regaining the UK's status as an independent coastal state. The key issue addressed in this article is the possible reallocation of fishing opportunities within British waters. It outlines the current allocation system and summarises the views of major stakeholders. This is complex as historical fishing rights may or may not be acknowledged but it remains that the UK fishing industry needs access to EU markets and EU labour to bring the fish to value.