Britain takes ‘historic step’ to withdraw from international fishing agreement

File photo dated 03/06/14 of a fishing boat, as Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom has reassured fishing leaders the UK will
The Government is pulling out of the London Fisheries Convention. David Cheskin / PA Wire / PA Images

The United Kingdom has taken a ‘historic step’ to withdraw from the London Fisheries Convention.

The agreement, which aligned with the EU Common Fisheries Policy, allowed Dutch, Irish, French, German and Belgian vessels to fish within six and 12 nautical miles of UK coastline.

According to The Telegraph, EU countries currently catch around 10,000 tonnes of fish off the British coast every year.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the UK’s withdrawal was “an historic first step towards building a new domestic fishing policy as we leave the European Union”.

He added: “Leaving the London Fisheries Convention is an important moment as we take back control of our fishing policy. It means for the first time in more than 50 years we will be able to decide who can access our waters.”

Some have their concerns, though. Will McCallum, Greenpeace UK head of oceans, said that leaving the convention will not enough to support small-scale fishers.

Embargoed to 0001 Sunday July 2 File photo dated 4/11/2002 of a trawler bringing in its catch at Eyemouth harbour, in the Scottish Borders. The Government is withdrawing the UK from an arrangement that allows foreign countries to fish in British waters, it has announced.

McCallum said Gove would need to “re-balance fishing quotas in favour of small-scale, specific locally based fishing communities”.

Leave campaigners like Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson sold Brexit as an opportunity for Britain to take back full control of its fishing waters from Brussels.

Denmark had previously expressed opposition towards Britain’s plan to leave the convention.

Niels Wichmann, chief executive of the Danish fisherman’s association, described the notion that Britain can simply take back its waters as “nonsense,” saying: “We have a common sea basin where we can fish. We have always had that.

“The British claim of getting back your waters is a nonsense, because you never had them. Maybe for oil or gas but not for fish.”

NOW WATCH: Trump’s childhood home in New York City is available to rent – take a look inside