The politics and governance of UK fisheries after Brexit

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Abstract

Fishing is on the frontline of Brexit politics. While the fishing industry represents a relatively small part of the UK’s economy (less than 0.05 per cent of GDP), it has deep political significance, not least in many coastal communities where
it is economically important and forms an important part of cultural identity. Fisheries featured prominently during the EU referendum campaign and continues to be a key battleground during the Brexit process.
Fisheries represents one of the UK’s most ‘Europeanised’ policy areas. The UK is currently a member of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) meaning decisions on UK quotas are taken at the European level. Ninety-two per cent of UK fishermen voted to leave the EU (McAngus, 2016). With UK fishermen able to currently catch about two-fifths of the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) in UK waters, they believe that leaving the EU and the CFP would mean they are able to
catch more fish, and thus boost the prospects of their industry and local communities

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