Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : UK reaches agreement on key fish stocks for 2023 [December 2022]

The press release issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 9 December 2022.

The UK has reached agreements with the EU and Norway, and wider coastal states, to secure valuable fishing opportunities for the UK fishing industry.

The UK has secured fishing catch limits worth £202 million to the UK fishing industry, a £33 million increase from last year, after reaching an agreement with Norway and the EU, Defra has announced today (Friday 9 December).

Negotiating as an independent coastal State, the UK agreed catch levels for 2023 for six important fish stocks in the North Sea including North Sea cod, haddock and herring.

This comes as the UK also concluded negotiations on catch limits with coastal States in the North East Atlantic on three more key stocks to the UK fishing fleet – blue whiting, mackerel and atlanto-Scandian herring. In total, UK quota in these stocks will be worth around £256m to the UK fishing industry next year.

Sustainability has been at the heart of the UK’s approach to these negotiations, pushing for decisions based on the best science available to ensure key fish stocks are protected and to support the long-term viability of the UK fishing industry. All catch levels were set in line with, or lower than, the level advised by scientists at the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES).

Fisheries Minister Mark Spencer said:

I’m pleased we have reached agreements with the EU and Norway, and wider coastal states, to secure important fish stocks worth over £450 million for the UK fishing fleet in 2023.

The deals will help support a sustainable, profitable fishing industry for years to come while continuing to protect our marine environment and vital fishing grounds.

The catch levels agreed for North Sea stocks for 2023 (compared to 2022) are:

  • Cod +63%
  • Haddock +30%
  • Herring -7.3%
  • Plaice +5.8%
  • Saithe +18.7%
  • Whiting +30%

Last month, the UK reached an agreement with Norway, with the UK fleet benefiting from fishing opportunities worth £5 million. Further talks with the EU are continuing over the total allowable catches and other stock management measures

Throughout the negotiations, the UK Government worked closely with the devolved administrations to ensure that fishing communities across the UK will benefit from the agreement.

An assessment on the number of individual Total Allowable Catches set consistent with ICES advice will be published on the conclusion of the UK’s annual fisheries negotiations.