The UK would soar up the global table if it followed Norway’s practice of landing more than eight in 10 fish caught in its own waters, according to a new study.
Under the Common Fisheries Policy more than 70 per cent of the fish and shellfish landed from the UK Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is caught by non-UK vessels.
Norway, which controls its own waters, is believed to land 84 per cent of the fish and shellfish caught in its waters.
The analysis of global catches, by Ian Napier of the NAFC Marine Centre, notes that if the UK followed the Norwegian example it would catch more than twice what it currently does, propelling it from 25th to 13th in the global rankings.
Dr Napier’s analysis also shows that the UK’s ranking for fish landings declined from sixth in the 1950s to 25th by the early 2000s.
Shetland Fishermen’s Association executive officer Simon Collins said:“This study highlights perfectly the inequitable nature of the CFP as far as UK boats are concerned.
“Far more of the fish in our waters is taken by vessels from other countries than by our own, and nothing rankles more with our members than that.”