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Fishing industry warning over future of small boats before Brexit

From BBC - April 17, 2018

Hundreds of small fishing boats will be lost before Brexit is complete unless they are allowed to land bigger catches, industry figures have warned.

They fear a draft copy of the Fisheries White Paper suggests the existing fishing quota system will not be significantly reformed.

Jerry Percy, from their trade body, said the quota should be moved from big to small boats.

A government spokesman said he could not comment on leaked documents.

Mr Percy, from the New Under Ten Fishermen's Association, said: "It will be lost jobs, lost boats. It will be lost local fishing landings. It will be lost culture, lost tradition."

The draft white paper, dating from February and seen by BBC Radio 4's Today programme, says the government acknowledges many businesses are based on the current quota system. Ministers will recognise that fact when considering potential changes, it adds.

Fishermen operating small boats fear that means there will be no change to the system for existing quotas, which is based on fishing volumes from the late 1990s.

Boats under 10m (33ft) long have just 4% of the total quota.

Ministers will negotiate to win back extra quota from the EU, but how existing quota is allocated is down to national governments within the UK.

'Low-value fish'

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