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Commercial Fishing



EUFA to protect European fish sector in Brexit talks. The European Fisheries Alliance is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Santiago Declaration. One year ago, representatives of coastal communities from across the European Union came together in Santiago de Compostella, in Spain, in order to take a common stand and call upon EU decision makers to protect the economic future of their communities during the Brexit negotiations. As a result of this process, Galician President Alberto Nuñez Feijóo laid the first of many signatures under a common statement and the Santiago declaration was officially launched.

The declaration, signed by dozens of coastal communities from EU Member States potentially impacted by Brexit, calls for vital fishing interests to be defended in the Brexit negotiations, as the future of the fishing communities is dependent on the outcome of Brexit.

One year later, Brexit negotiations have entered a decisive phase and fisheries remains an important topic given that the United Kingdom and the EU share limited resources as well as interdependent ecosystems. Hence, reciprocal access to fishing grounds and markets with the United Kingdom remains our priority. Additionally, post-Brexit cooperation on sustainable management is necessary to ensure the economic livelihoods of fishing communities and the future of the fisheries sector in Europe.

In celebration of the one-year anniversary Sra Rosa María Quintana Carballo, Minister for Fisheries of Galicia said: “Our vibrant coastal communities have depended on the fisheries industry for centuries. Their world revolves around their fleets. And in Galicia, like in so many other European coastal communities, fisheries and fishermen are core to our local cultures, our folklore and our shared identities. We are celebrating the Santiago Declaration because it addresses coastal communities’ concerns and seeks to ensure that EU decision makers are well aware when negotiating the Withdrawal Agreement as well as the future relationship with the UK.”

Gerard Van Balsfoort, Chairman of the European Fisheries Alliance, said: “The fisheries industry is about people and the livelihood of fishing communities. Over the last year the European fisheries industry has stood united in order to represent these interests and to ensure that negotiators in Brussels and London are well aware of the tangible consequences that Brexit could have on the vulnerable situation of coastal communities.”

He added “Our message to policy-makers remains unchanged, namely, that any Brexit agreement needs to take care of our coastal communities. A long-term economic future means safeguarding current reciprocal access arrangements to waters and markets and maintaining current distribution of fishing opportunities.”