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  • The 8 member states (Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, France and the Netherlands), whose fisheries would be potentially most impacted by Brexit have developed a common position that fisheries must not be isolated in the overall negotiations on a new EU/UK relationship. 
  • Transitional arrangements for fisheries have been provisionally agreed between the UK and the EU – in essence, status quo, but UK excluded from decision making fora.
  • Brexit poses a very particular set of potential serious threats to the Irish and EU seafood industry including possible
    • prohibitions on access to fish in the UK zone
    • large loss of quota share in all of our commercial fisheries, potentially up to 50% in some cases
    • increase in activity by other EU vessels in our waters, leading to stock depletion in the waters we depend upon
  • Current access and sharing arrangements were reaffirmed by all Member States, including the UK, as recently as 2014.
  • On average, 34% (by volume) of Irish landings are taken from UK waters,  A worst case scenario is that, in addition to restrictions on access, the UK would seek to increase its current quotas to match the amount of fish currently taken by non UK vessels in the UK zone. This would lead to serious over exploitation of stocks at everyone’s expense.
  • The transition deal and the guidelines on the future relationship with regard to fisheries represent a successful beginning to the combined efforts of the Governments of the Fisheries 8 and the sector.

Papers delivered at the Sea Fisheries Dialogue event in Radisson Blu Hotel, Dublin on 1 February 2017