Brexit has become a reality, and not only at the negotiation table in Brussels. In the fishing industry, Brexit has created uncertainty over access to fishing grounds and national allocations of EU Total Allowable Catches (TACs) by fish species. This uncertainty is already affecting investment decisions.
Each EU Member State has its own Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is a sea area defined in International Law that extends up to 200 nautical miles from the coast of the EU Member State. Within the EU, Member States have equal access to EU fishing grounds. Dutch fisheries are highly dependent on the UK EEZ, where (pelagic) trawlers in particular, targeting herring and mackerel, are highly active (Figure 1). The other types of trawlers (so called bottom trawlers) target species like plaice, sole and common shrimp. They fish mainly in the North Sea, partly in the UK EEZ although less so than the pelagic trawlers.