Press release: 2 May 2021

Media reaction: Flexible catch limits could undermine EU, UK sustainability commitments

ClientEarth lawyer Sarah Denman said:

“We’re concerned that an increase in flexible catch limits could undermine the sustainability commitments in the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Act and the UK Fisheries Act.

“Bigger flexibility could increase not just catches of fish that are targeted, but also of vulnerable species accidentally taken as bycatch.

“Some of these, like the West of Scotland cod, are in really bad shape. Extra pressure is the opposite of what these depleted fish populations need to recover.

“When the Fisheries Act became law, the UK Government reiterated its intention that fisheries management post-Brexit should build back greener. The Fisheries Act itself contains a number of ambitious objectives, including a sustainability and a bycatch one.

“To deliver these ambitions, the Government must ensure that any flexibility on catch limits does not increase pressure on vulnerable fish populations, including bycatch.”


About ClientEarth

ClientEarth is a non-profit organisation that uses the law to create systemic change that protects the Earth for – and with – its inhabitants. We are tackling climate change, protecting nature and stopping pollution, with partners and citizens around the globe. We hold industry and governments to account, and defend everyone’s right to a healthy world. From our offices in Europe, Asia and the USA we shape, implement and enforce the law, to build a future for our planet in which people and nature can thrive together.