24 March 2017
Each week, the NFFO shines a spotlight on a different aspect of its policy towards the UK’s departure from the EU and therefore from the Common Fisheries Policy. This week we focus on an exclusive 12 mile limit.
An Exclusive 12 mile Zone
- The area within the UK’s 12 mile limit should be an exclusive zone in which fishing and access rights should be limited to UK fishing vessels. This is justified in terms of:
- The current absence of symmetry (the UK as very few vessels which fish within in the 12mile limit of another EU member state)
- The increase in fishing capacity of the non-UK fleets claiming historic rights which were established on the basis of much smaller vessels with lower catching capacity
- The provisions of UNCLOS which expressly allow for exclusive rights within the 12 mile zone
- A better basis for future management of inshore fisheries
Notwithstanding the above, it will nevertheless be important to find a way to ensure that the mutual access of the Northern Irish and Republic of Ireland fleets to each other’s territorial waters should continue, on the basis of the neighbourhood agreement which predated the CFP.