Fishing community invited to give views on trade deal

The Plymouth fishing community are being urged to come forward and give their thoughts on the impact of new fisheries and trade deal with the EU.

The Council is to investigate the impact of new fishing and trade deals on the local fishing industry at a special Scrutiny Committee on commercial fishing following reports of major problems with exports to mainland Europe.

At Monday's Full Council meeting, it was announced that fishermen who land and/or sell their catch through Plymouth, along with exporters who trade Plymouth landed or bought fish, are being invited to give evidence to the committee of Councillors on the 12th February 2021.

Councillor Tudor Evans OBE, Leader of Plymouth City Council, said: “Plymouth is not only a major fishing port but also a regional hub for the South West. This is an industry not just valued for its economic contribution to our city, but its significance to our heritage. We have grave concerns that the new trade agreement does NOT deliver on promises that were made, or for our local fishermen or indeed Plymouth. 

“But we want to hear from those who are directly impacted. What do you think the impact will be? What can be done to maximise opportunity and limit or mitigate any problems? We are here to help, but we do not want to guess what you need, we understand that one size does not fit all, so we want to hear from as many sectors and individuals as possible. Please take the time to submit a video or email, help us, help you.

“We know that the industry work at sea most of the time and not at a desk. We want to make it as simple as possible to give us evidence – that could be in writing or as a video statements that they can send in to us.”

The Council would like to hear from people who fish out of Plymouth, land in Plymouth and those that overland their fish to Plymouth for sale. The Council would also like to hear from exporters and the supply chain businesses that trade and work with Plymouth fish and shellfish. This can be a written statement, or video recorded statement. We would be grateful if video submissions are kept to less than five minutes.

The three subjects that the committee are interested in hearing about are:

•    The impact of the Trade Agreement and deal that was struck on fishing?
•    The impact of the new rules governing the export of fish introduced on January 1st 2021?
•    What can be done to support your fishing, export, supply chain business?

Stakeholders are invited to submit evidence to for the panel to consider by Monday 8 February.

This meeting will be broadcast and will be available on-line for playback once the meeting has concluded. Written evidence may be provided to the panel and Video evidence that is submitted may be played back at the meeting, and will be captured in the recording for subsequent online viewing.

The submission of evidence will be taken as consent for this purpose.