Covid-19 Coronavirus

Isle of Man taking part in fisheries discussions

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The Isle of Man is continuing to take an active role in discussions about the future of fisheries policy, as the UK Government seeks to renegotiate its position as part of the Brexit process.

UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced the UK’s decision to exit an arrangement that allows foreign countries to fish in British waters.

On Monday 3 July 2017, the UK Government triggered its withdrawal from the London Fisheries Convention, signed in 1964 before the UK joined the European Union, to start the two-year process to leave the agreement.

The convention allows foreign vessels to operate within six and 12 nautical miles of the UK’s coastline. This agreement extends the same rights to fishermen from France, Belgium and the Republic of Ireland to fish in Manx territorial waters (6-12nm).

Mr Gove will be writing to Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA), to formally advise him of the notice period and to explain the reasons for the UK’s withdrawal.

The announcement prepares the way for negotiations with the EU over the UK’s withdrawal from the Common Fisheries Policy. It expected that discussions will centre on fisheries access and quotas as the Brexit process progresses.

The Isle of Man will continue to monitor developments and consider the legislative impact of the UK’s decision.

DEFA says that very few of the foreign vessels that are permitted to fish in the Isle of Man’s 6-12nm limit actually do so, and the UK’s withdrawal from the London Convention will not change the current fishing patterns of Manx fishermen.

Minister Boot said:

‘The Department regularly attends Brexit meetings with the UK and the other Crown Dependencies as part of the Isle of Man Government’s wider engagement programme. We take part in discussions about the impact of the UK’s decision to exit the EU and the potential opportunities around agriculture, fisheries, food and the marine environment.’

He added:

‘There will be no definitive answers for the Isle of Man until the UK’s position is determined following the Brexit negotiations. However, it is important to stay close to developments and to promote the Island’s best interests. We welcome this opportunity to attend focused discussions around fisheries policy to ensure our concerns are heard and considered.’

Issued By

Back to top