UK fishermen were promised a bright future when they voted for Brexit; the chance to take back control of their waters and free their industry from the shackles of European bureaucracy. But, as is increasingly becoming clear, this dream has not been realized. The reality is rather different: job losses and financial insecurity have become a pressing concern in the industry.
The situation has been made worse by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with many fishing businesses struggling to stay afloat. This grim situation is explored in ‘Brexit’s Catch: Inside Britain’s Fishing Industry’, a BBC documentary which follows vessels and communities battling to survive against the odds.
The film follows the fortunes of UK fishing businesses during Brexit negotiations over access to territorial waters. It looks at how despite warnings about potential losses, politicians continued to offer false promises – such as an unrealistic 50% increase in quotas – that could never be delivered upon.
The documentary also profiles some of those working within the industry who have been affected by Brexit; including fishermen forced out of business after being excluded from their traditional fishing grounds due to changing regulations, leaving them unable to make ends meet. It also shows how Brexit has caused divisions between pro-EU and anti-EU camps within communities that rely on fishing for employment and income generation.
For those wanting a greater insight into both the struggles faced by UK fishermen post-Brexit and what it means for their livelihoods, ‘Brexit’s Catch: Inside Britain’s Fishing Industry’ provides an invaluable source of information. A must watch for anyone interested in our country’s history and its current challenges!