Brexit fisheries victory: Italy loses £85,000 after EU crumbled in bluefin tuna battle

Brexit: UK relying on EU for fisheries data says Mummery

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Thanks to Brexit, the UK has become a full-fledged non-EU country with a bigger share of catches of bluefin tunas. The fishing victory for Britain meant a huge loss for Italy worth £85,328 (€100,000).

EU member states overall will lose 48 tons of bluefin tunas that will move across the Channel, of which Italy loses 11 tons.

The devastating blow to Italian fishermen was announced by Fedagripesca-Confcooperative, which had raised the alarm last week on a new distribution of catch quotas that are managed worldwide by ICCAT, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas.

A spokesperson from Fedagripesca said: “It is a pity that geopolitical choices make us take a small step backwards compared to the achievements obtained thanks to the good health of the tuna.”

They claimed the new map also implies bureaucratic consequences that will force the countries to reconsider the decrees that nationally distribute the catches between the different tuna fishing methods.

Adding time is short, with the risk “of arriving close to the 2021 campaign that will begin at the end of May.”

Italy is not the only EU country to be suffering the consequences of Brexit on its fisheries.

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Fishing chiefs in Boulogne-sur-Mer, just over an hour from the UK’s maritime border with the EU, have complained they have yet to be granted a licence to fish in the UK’s 12-mile zone. In a letter to Brussels officials, French Minister of the Sea Annick Girardin and mayor of Boulogne-sur-Mer Frédéric Cuvillier said urgent action needed to be taken.

The letter, which is also signed by Jean-François Rapin, regional councillor and senator of Pas-de-Calais, and Xavier Bertrand, president of the Hauts-de-France region, claimed only 23 licences had been issued by the UK Government for a fleet of 850 vessels.

Express.co.uk understands officials at the UK Single Issuing Authority (SIA) responsible for licencing began to issue licences to allow EU fisheries to operate within 12 miles of the British coastline on January 29.

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But the letter, also copied to officials in Whitehall, stressed: “On January 1, in front of the players in the sector in Boulogne-sur-Mer, the government made a commitment that fishing licenses in the 6-12 nautical mile zone be awarded within 48 hours.

“But to date and despite this commitment, only 23 licenses have been awarded directly threatening the activity of the 850 sailors of Hauts-de-France and the 5,000 jobs in the port.”

Frédéric Cuvillier, Mayor of Boulogne-sur-Mer, added in a statement: “It is scandalous.

“Countries must demand a support plan at the European level.

“France must be a player in this necessary requirement.”

Stéphane Pinto, vice chairwoman of the Regional Fisheries Committee claimed the French government must put pressure on the European Union to find a solution.

She added: “I cannot conceive of the French authorities telling business leaders French ‘we have no solution, you have to cease your activity’ “.

Ms Pinto claimed they were told by Paris officials that if licences from the UK Single Issuing Authority didn’t arrive soon then there would have to be a “fleet exit plan” established.

“In other words, we break the boats and we are given money,” she explained.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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