What does Brexit mean for seafood

Seafish's approach to Brexit is simple, pragmatic and non-partisan: we shall work with industry and all relevant stakeholders to understand the new landscape, the implications/opportunities/threats for seafood and options for industry and Seafish response.

Brexit and UK seafood: An initial review of developments, possible implications and industry perspectives

Our initial step is to provide a high level overview of the Brexit landscape and potential impacts for the UK seafood industry. As things progressed, our subsequent work identified the major industry impacts arising from key Brexit developments, setting out potential areas of response.

This subsequent work comprised broad stakeholder engagement from across the UK industry in the period July - December 2016. Feedback was obtained from: 51 individual operators; four meetings and events holding specific Brexit discussions; and several Brexit position papers produced by sector associations.  

Our engagement exercise mapped out the characteristics of UK seafood together with the main interfaces with the EU.  Key dimensions of the risk areas were identified (UK business climate, fisheries governance, trade tariffs, regulations and non-tariff barriers, access to labour and skills, public funds). 

A number of conclusions were drawn as a result of this exercise on areas of commonality and contrast as well as important unknowns. Areas of commonality in industry views include: 'maintaining favourable trade arrangements', 'responsible and sustainable fisheries management', 'access to labour', 'public funds', and 'avoiding seafood being part of a trade-off in the final negotiation'.  Areas of contrast/potential divergence in industry views centre on 'production management/control: controls on access to fisheries, domestic quota allocation', 'regulation: retaining/adopting current EU legislation' and 'outcomes - whole chain versus sectoral (affecting brand reputation)'. Important unknowns include 'resource management/control and devolved arrangements', 'regulation and tariff structures' and 'labour'.

A fuller overview of industry preferred Brexit outcomes from seafood sector stakeholders can be found here.