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Belgian fishing boats given limited access to UK waters

Christian Fernsby |
Belgian fishing boats have been granted 17 licences to fish within the 12-mile limit of the United Kingdom, as part of a post-Brexit agreement, Flemish minister Hilde Crevits has announced.

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Topics: BELGIAN    UK   

The deal will allow Belgian boats operating out of the Flemish fishing ports to fish for mainly sole, an important catch for the domestic market.

About half of the total catch by the Belgian fleet traditionally comes from British waters, and when the UK left the European Union at the of last year, it threw the industry into disarray as it waited to see what conditions the UK would apply to their access.

Now 17 licences have been approved, for a duration of five and a half years. The licences have a fixed quota of fish attached, but that detail is still being negotiated.

“This is good news for our fishermen,” Crevits said.

“The United Kingdom has now granted almost all licenses for fishing in the 12-mile zone. Access to that zone is an important part of the Brexit agreement. From now on our fishermen who go into sea with smaller vessels will be able to fish close to the British coast. In recent weeks we have repeatedly urged London to issue the licences.”

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