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Agreement between the UK and the EU, on trade and cooperation following Brexit, was reached on 24 December 2020. Heading Five of Part Two of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) covers fisheries. Under the agreement 25% overall of the existing EU quota in UK waters will be transferred to the UK over a 5 ½ year period to 30 June 2026, with specific percentages agreed for each fishing stock.

Under TCA the EU and UK will negotiate every year (after the five and a half years transition period is over) on Total Allowable Catches (TAC) for each of the 87 stocks listed in Fish Annex 1 and 2. For the first five years the TCA sets out the changes EU and UK percentage share of each stock. For some stocks there will be significant changes, and some will not change at all.

The Government announced that agreement with the EU had been reached on fishing opportunities for 2021 on 10 June 2021, broadly in line with provisional catch limits set earlier in the year.

The fishing industry has a range of concerns regarding the impact of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement on fisheries, including the impact of the fishing opportunities set out in the TCA, the lack of reciprocal agreements with Norway or Faroes, difficulties with exports to the EU and the EU ban on imports of some live bivalve molluscs.

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