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Fishermen urged to remove gear from non-UK waters ahead of Brexit

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London | October 15, 2019 11:11:32 PM IST
Britain have urged its fishermen to remove their gears deployed in non-UK waters ahead of Brexit-- the scheduled withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union is on October 31.

"With two weeks until Brexit, fishermen who have deployed static gear in non-UK waters are being urged to get ready by removing it ahead of 23:00 hours on 31 October," the government said in a statement.

The statement said that the UK will become an "independent coastal state" after Brexit and there will be "no automatic right to fish" in the waters of EU or other states.

An agreement on fishing has been agreed with Norway until the end of 2019. However, access to fish in EU waters will be a matter for future negotiation, the statement read.

"After Brexit, leaving gear in EU waters or hauling it will be a breach of new licences that will be issued to vessel owners in the run-up to 31st October. The new licences will limit UK fishermen to working UK waters or those of countries where a post-Brexit fisheries agreement is in place such as Norway," it added.

Meanwhile, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has encouraged fishermen to put their safety first by planning if they will require multiple trips to haul their gear in advance of Brexit.

MMO Operations Director, Phil Haslam, said, "If we leave the EU without a deal then automatic fishing rights in EU waters will end at 11 pm on 31 October. So we are advising fishermen who deploy static gear to ensure they've hauled it in advance of Brexit."

"However, we want to ensure they do it safely by making as many trips as necessary rather than risk their safety by attempting to recover too much gear in a single trip and hazarding the boat's stability. That means some fishermen will need to plan and act now if they've deployed a lot of gear," she added.

The right to transit through EU waters and those of other states will continue to apply after Brexit but all fishing gear must be lashed and stowed to comply with regulations.

The UK has reportedly set up a licensing authority to ensure UK fishermen have the correct licenses to fish in non-UK waters after Brexit.

After October 31, vessels from the EU, Norway or the Faroes will be banned from fishing in waters of the UK, also unless other agreements come into effect. (ANI)

 
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