Labour is calling for more fishing quota to be given to smaller fishing boats after Brexit.

Labour will be bringing forward amendments to the Fisheries Bill that would reallocate quota along social and environmental lines, which stands to benefit small boats.

Labour in government will set out a strong, credible and fair plan for the future allocation of new and existing quota by giving more fishing opportunities to small fishing boats, based on new social and environmental criteria. Labour’s Shadow DEFRA team are also consulting on how to boost employment opportunities in ports and processing, and how to incentivise environmentally sustainable fishing methods.

Across the country, small boats provide the bulk of jobs in the catching sector and contribute to coastal towns from Cornwall to the far north of Scotland, Northern Ireland to Kent.

However, nearly a third (29%) of the UK’s fishing quota is owned or controlled by just five families on the Sunday Times Rich List.

Despite making up most of the British Fishing fleet, smaller boats have just six per cent of the total quota. The Dutch-owned trawler, the Cornelis Vrolijk, controls more than a fifth of England’s entire quota allocation, and about two-thirds of the UK’s quota is awarded to three multi-national companies.

Luke Pollard MP, Labour’s Shadow Fisheries Minister, said:

“By ignoring the needs of smaller fishing fleets, this Government is betraying British fishing.


“Michael Gove could take action to redistribute fishing quota now if he wanted to but he is failing by not delivering quota reallocation in the Fisheries Bill.


“Labour is setting out our vision for Britain to have the most sustainable fisheries in the world. That means a greater focus on ensuring fish stocks are healthy, that there is proper enforcement and a fairer distribution of fishing quota.


“Labour will ensure that fishing quota isn’t monopolised by the few. Fishing reform could usher in a huge regeneration of coastal towns but not unless ministers drastically improve the Fisheries Bill.”


Alexander Buchan and family are ranked 804 in the 2018 Sunday Times Rich List, with an estimated net worth of £147m. The family’s Peterhead-based Lunar Fishing Company owns or controls 8.9% of the UK’s quota holdings (739,153 FQAs), making it the biggest quota holder in the UK.

Jan Colam and family are ranked 882 on the Rich List (estimated worth: £130m). The Colam family-owned company Interfish is the second largest quota holder, with 7.8% of the UK total (643,927 FQAs)

Robert Tait and family are ranked 980 on the Rich List (estimated worth: £115m). The family’s Klondyke Fishing Company is the UK’s third-largest quota holder, with 6.1% of the UK total (506,953 FQAs).

Andrew Marr and family are ranked 567 on the Rich List (estimated worth: £209m). The family’s Hull-based Andrew Marr International owns or controls 5.1% of UK quota holdings (419,937 FQAs), making it the UK’s 5th largest quota holder. It also has minority stakes in companies and vessel partnerships that hold a further 5.4% of UK quota (445,981 FQAS).

Sir Ian Wood and family are ranked 77 on the Rich List, with an estimated worth of £1.7bn (a fortune built largely on oil and gas services). Sir Ian’s fishing business, JW Holdings, holds 1% of the UK’s fishing quota (83,463 FQAs) and has minority investments in businesses/partnerships that hold a further 2.3% (192,169 FQAs).

Greenpeace, 10 October 2018,

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