European consultation with the United Kingdom on sandeel fishing

The European Union has today requested consultations with the United Kingdom under the dispute settlement mechanism of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement on the United Kingdom’s decision to ban sand eel fishing, with a view to reaching a mutually acceptable solution.

From 26 March 2024, the closure of sand fishing will affect English waters in the North Sea and all Scottish waters. This measure significantly restricts EU vessels’ access to these fisheries. The EU questions whether a full and permanent closure of fishing is in line with the principles and obligations under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

Under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the EU and the UK agreed to use evidence-based, proportionate and non-discriminatory measures to protect living marine resources. The EU is committed to working with the UK to achieve these objectives.

Cooperation between the EU and the UK under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement has developed positively, including in the framework of the Special Committee on Fisheries.

Under the EU is taking action to protect and restore marine ecosystems for sustainable and resilient fisheries. General Fishing PolicyThe EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 And this Marine Action Plan.

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