Where Does the UK Get Most of Its Fish From?

The United Kingdom is a major consumer of seafood, with 26% of its fish coming from the North Atlantic and northern outer waters of the EU. The majority of seafood imported to the UK from the rest of the EU is mainly composed of salmon, tuna and cod, with Sweden providing 20% of the value of imports in the form of salmon. These figures include fish that live beyond the limits of UK waters, such as arctic cod and sole from western Ireland. The total EU quota for the 73 different fish stocks that live in UK waters was 1,920,915 tons, with 585 211 tons allocated to the UK - representing 30%.

Individual quota allocations vary depending on stocks, with the UK receiving 84% of the share of haddock in the North Sea, 81% of monkfish in the North Sea and 98% of shrimp quota in western Scotland; but only 4% of sprat in the North Sea, 18% of hake from the North Sea and 28% of North Sea sole. It is important to note that if the UK were allowed to catch 20% of fish that swim in British waters and the EU took the rest, then there would be no fish left in the sea. This highlights why trade agreements with the EU are so important for the future success of the UK's fishing industry and fish processors. Supermarkets have initiated campaigns to raise awareness that there are other fish that should be taken into account.

The figure for fish stocks that live in UK waters fished by other member states is not 80%, but 70%. Many fishing companies campaigned for Brexit due to increasingly strict controls on fishing quotas. A parliamentary report released today reveals that around 75 percent of the fish caught in the United Kingdom is exported, mainly to the European Union, while most of the fish consumed in the United Kingdom is imported.

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