E.U. referendum

A Fish Out of Water

epa05366557 A flotilla of fishing trawlers, orgainzed by UKIP leader Nigel Farage, sails up the river Thames 'Fishing for Leave Flotilla' next to the Houses of Parliament in London Britain, 15 June 2016. Farage continues to campaign around the UK in the lead up to the EU referendum on 23 June. Britons will vote on whether to remain in or leave the EU in a referendum on 23 June 2016. EPA/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
Mutiny on the bounty? At a protest organized by the U.K. Independence Party, British fishermen sailed up the Thames river.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    E.U. and British rules and distribution of fishing quotas has led many in the United Kingdom to protest, but the industry is difficult to regulate as fish stocks rise and fall.

  • Facts


    • E.U. regulations seek to share fish stocks between the members of the bloc and protect the environment.
    • Fishing quotas are distributed between the countries in the European Union. In the United Kingdom, the government then further allocates the quotas.
    • The U.K. fishing industry is hard to regulate as fleets vary significantly in size and what they catch along the coast, meaning averages don’t always accurately portray the situation.
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Andy Giles, a fisherman from the village of Looe in Cornwall on the southwestern tip of England, is desperate to leave the European Union. “We’ve got to get our waters back,” he said.

Mr. Giles catches lemon sole, cuttlefish, monkfish, cod, haddock and squid 30 miles off the coast in the choppy Atlantic waters off of Britain.

He said he has to sail so far out to sea each day – he starts at 3 a.m. and ends at 9 p.m. – because of E.U. fishing quotas.

Europe’s common fisheries policy, or CFP, allocates how much fish, and what kind, each country can catch, to protect fish stocks.

“If we were French, it would be okay, but we have to sail two and a half hours each day to avoid catching haddock,” he told Handelsblatt Global Edition, speaking from aboard a boat on the Thames River last week at a demonstration for Brexit organized by the Fishing for Leave campaign.

Mr. Giles hopes that if Britain leaves the European Union, he’ll be able to fish for what he wants, where he wants, when he wants.

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