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Fishing quotas for 2024 agreed

27 December 2023

Fishing for Britain flotilla outside Parliament, 15 June 2016. Workers in the industry campaign for Leave EU and against the lack of progress after the referendum. Photo Workers.

Defra, the government department responsible for the environment and fisheries, has announced the results of its negotiations with the EU over fishing quotas starting in 2024. With this the UK has completed its fourth year of negotiating as an independent coastal state.

A new trilateral deal with the EU and Norway is claimed to boost the UK catch by an estimated 120,000 tonnes more than if we were still in the EU. The new total is 750,000 tonnes – 80,000 tonnes up on 2023.


The deal with Oslo will mean British trawlermen will be able to secure 290,000 tonnes of North Sea stocks. A separate agreement was struck with Iceland and Greenland in 2023 over 330,000 tonnes of Atlantic stocks. Scottish fishermen in particular stand to benefit. Bilateral negotiations with Norway, and between the UK and the Faroe Islands are ongoing.

Although Brussels is no longer able unilaterally to set quotas for UK waters as it did under the Common Fisheries Policy, the Brexit trade deal (the Trade and Cooperation Agreement) was nevertheless criticised for guaranteeing EU fishermen access to British waters until 2026, with EU quotas gradually being wound down. So the latest deal was only to be expected, no more no less.


There cannot be an increase uniformly across all stocks because, following scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, total allowable catch (TAC) limits are set to protect the long term viability of fish stocks.

This means that some TACs are lower than in 2023. The trilateral deal with Norway agreed TAC limits on cod, haddock and herring. As reported in Fishing News, the South West faces the possibility of zero TAC in respect of cod and pollack, and reduction in the case of sole. Conditions further north for these species are said to be more favourable due to increased warming.