The Northern External Waters post-Brexit

The north Atlantic, and in particular the waters referred to as the EU's Northern External Waters, has a plentiful stock of cod and haddock supplying the UK’s fish & chip shops.

  1. The UK imports most of the fish it eats and exports most of what it catches;

  2. Cod and haddock are UK consumers' favourite fish;

  3. These fish are found in large quantities in the ‘Northern External Waters’, a term used by the European Union to describe the waters to the north of UK waters;

  4. To provide British fish for our fish & chip shops, the Kirkella needs access to quotas from Norway, Svalbard, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and NAFO (Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization);

  5. If these quotas are unavailable, the UK will have to import even more of its cod and haddock from Norway and elsewhere. In 2021 the UK distant water fleet had reduced quotas and Norwegian imports increased. Norwegian data indicates that exports of frozen cod fillets to the UK increased by between 35% and 44% in 2021, reflecting the reduction in UK fishing quotas.

  6. For 2022, the UK has been allocated only 500 tonnes of cod in Norwegian waters and 6,500 tonnes in the waters around Svalbard. The UK has lost fishing opportunities in NAFO (Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization) and has no quotas in Greenland. Therefore the total available cod quota in distant waters for 2022 is 7,000 tonnes, compared with a total of 19,500 tonnes in 2018.