Fishing: Restaurant owner discusses 'roaring trade'
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The British fishing industry was predicted to collapse after the UK and EU secured a fraught Brexit trade deal last year. However, a new report from Al Jazeera revealed that the fisheries have “defied” the scaremongering predictions amid soaring trade. Speaking from the British port of Brixham, Al Jazeera’s Jonah Hull claimed that there has been “a huge turnaround for an industry that was predicting its own demise a year ago”.
He said: “There were fears over new rules and red tape, and warnings of catches rotting on the ports and of businesses going bust.
“A year on, and here in the south Devon port of Brixham, things are looking up.
“The innovation of online bidding means buyers from all over Europe are just a mouse click away.
“Sales are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars a day, the new export paperwork is a hassle but they have gotten used to it so orders are received by the following morning.
“Brexit? What Brexit?”
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Mr Hull added: “It’s a nuanced picture. Yes, fish exports are strong, and yes changing habits after lockdown has created a new appetite for fish in the UK.”
Barry Young, who heads the Brixham Trawler Association, said that “as the main auctioneer company in England, we are better off now”.
He said that fishermen take their fish to them instead of selling on the European mainland.
Mr Young explained: “Fishermen used to take the fish across the water themselves and sell it on the European market.
“But now because there is so much red tape, we pick up that fish and we do all that administration for them.”
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Mitch Tonks, a leading restauranteur, added that a renewed appetite and support among Britons had led to a “roaring trade”.
He said: “Brexit had the fishing fleet firmly in the picture at all times, and that has meant the British public is waking up to how good our seafood is.
“Whether you wanted to be in or out, there is a certain resolve and unity among British people.
“We want to support British fishermen and eat the fish.”
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However, smaller fishermen admitted they are now more “at the mercy of fluctuating prices”.
Derek Meredith, who heads up the direct sales service Boat 2 Door, said the rise in trade “is more to do with Covid than Brexit”.
Earlier today a leading French economist admitted that Brexit has not been a “catastrophe” despite the predictions of many.
François Lenglet, journalist and economist at RTE, has claimed those who voted Leave have been vindicated.
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