The deal that the European Union and the United Kingdom have made on fishing is going to be much worse than what the Dutch fishermen took into account in their worst scenarios.
This is the conclusion reached by Pim Visser, director of VisNed, which represents cutter fishermen’s interests.
Because British fishermen had been “told (lied to) in advance that after Brexit they would have the English waters and all the fish in them for themselves,” the British did not budge during the negotiations, Visser writes in an opinion piece in De Telegraaf.
“To still get a deal, the EU gave a lot away last minute, at the expense of Dutch fisheries. The result is an injustice deal, which has turned out much worse than we had foreseen in our darkest scenarios. ”
“And that blow,” Visser writes, “comes at the end of a year in which fish prices were bad because of the corona, in which the pulse ban became final and in which a lot of fishing area is lost due to the plans of the Green Deal, with the roll-out of Wind op. Sea and the designation of even more nature reserves. ”
Under the Brexit agreement, European fishermen will have access to British waters for at least another 5.5 years but are allowed to catch a quarter less fish than before. Visser estimates that the quota transferred to the British is worth 1.6 billion euros. “More than 20 percent of this is for the account of the Dutch fishermen. They are therefore hit disproportionately hard, ”said the VisNed director.
The EU has made EUR 600 million available to deal with the blow in the fishing industry. Visser hopes “that the Netherlands will be allocated a proportional part of the European budget to ensure that, despite all the setbacks, the fisheries regain perspective”.