For years now, Brexit has loomed large on the horizon for the seafood industry, either feted as a ‘sea of opportunity’ or feared as a tide of trade-blocking red tape, but now the deal has been hashed out and the damaging realities of export disruption unfold, what does Brexit actually mean for the struggling health of one of Scotland’s most significant natural assets – our seas and the fish within them?
Since the die was cast on 23rd June 2016, many within Scotland’s ‘Fishing Industry’ have been vying for position to capitalise on a promised Brexit bonanza, where fishing rights would finally be repatriated, where government would take back control and businesses could invest to rebuild a fleet and catch more fish. As the deal came down to the wire and it transpired that major concessions on fishing were being contemplated, the story became the detail of the Deal. Amidst the wrangling over percentages of fish ‘quota’, the media focussed on the basic political question: had the ‘Fishing Industry’ been sold out? Or were we finally taking back control of our fish?
This debate, however, has rarely considered the condition of the underlying ‘asset’, or how our fish, public fisheries and seas can be better managed for the improved health and prosperity of the nation. Our seas [Read more…]