UK Fishing Ports launch new campaign to boost landings and transform coastal communities

The British Ports Association is today launching it’s ‘fisheries manifesto’ that will boost UK fishing ports and the coastal communities in which they are rooted.

Increasing landings boosts the wider economic benefits of our fisheries to our coastal communities

• 40% of UK quota is landed abroad
• Just 36% of the fish in UK waters is caught by UK boats
• £260m of UK quota was landed outside the UK in 2017 - this could be supporting 20,000 jobs in the UK.
• £850m worth of fish was caught by foreign boats in UK waters in 2016. This extra quota should be landed in the UK (regardless of whether it is caught by UK or foreign vessels) where it could create 60,000 jobs.
• Every extra job in fish processing creates up to 6 extra jobs in the wider economy.

Our new report outlines three recommendations that will help to transform the industry:

1. Land all UK fishing quota (or all UK fish after Brexit) into UK ports
2. A transformational fisheries fund open to all UK fishing ports
3. Securing the long-term future of the industry and maintaining favourable access to European markets for seafood

Click here to read the report (PDF)
As part of the campaign launched today, the British Ports Association is calling on parliamentary candidates to commit to supporting the aims of the report to support the long-term future of UK fishing communities.

We are asking all UK prospective parliamentary candidates to sign up to our pledge to back UK fishing. Alongside a funding scheme to help fishing ports diversify their income and become more competitive, we are keen to see more seafood landed in the UK. This is the best way to ensure that the benefits of our fisheries are shared amongst UK coastal communities. This is a relatively simple change to enact that can be done through the existing licensing regime.

Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive of British Ports Association, said:

For the first time in 40 years the UK will soon be setting its own fisheries policy. This could be a once in a generation opportunity for UK fisheries. Above all it is critical that a transformational fund is put in place to support this transition towards prosperity and that Government policy is put to work to support coastal communities by ensuring that more seafood is landed in the UK.

Key Aims

Building Economic ResilienceA new transformational fishing fund:
• A £100m+ a year domestic fisheries fund with clear, strategic aims that tie into wider policy to revive UK fishing
• A ringfenced infrastructure strand, recognising the foundational importance of ports to the wider industry
• Remove the £1m cap for infrastructure projects
• Back projects that support the diversification and wider competitiveness of ports and related businesses, where this will sustain local commercial fishing activity
• Consider funding projects that involve restoration and maintenance of primary infrastructure where this supports safety or benefits the wider fishing industry
• Provide indicative funding letters to provide certainty to allow projects to attract other sources of funding

Restoring the Economic Link
• Amend the economic link requirement in commercial fishing licenses to make it mandatory to land all UK quota in a UK port. A phased approach would be appropriate
The Wider Fishing Industry ‘Ecosystem’
• Maintain favourable access to foreign markets for import and export of processed, whole, raw or live Seafood products
• A review of the quota system to ensure that it is fair and secures the long-term future of the industry

Click here to read the report (PDF)

The British Ports Association has published a wider list of priorities for UK ports, here (PDF).