fisherman fishing boat

Since breaking ties with Russia, the UK has been negotiating increased fishing quotas with other countries

The UK fishing industry will have access to over 2,200 tonnes of key stocks such as haddock and cod after the government struck a quota deal with the Faroe Islands for the rest of 2024.

The deal will see British fishermen benefit from 920 tonnes of cod and haddock, 600 tonnes of saithe, as well as redfish, blue ling and ling, flatfish and other species.

It follows recent negotiations with the EU and Norway that gave the UK access to 420,000 tonnes of fishing opportunities worth up to £700m.

Food, farrming & fisheries minister Mark Spencer said: “I’m pleased that we have been able to reach a deal with the Faroe Islands for 2024, giving UK fishing vessels access to key stocks such as haddock and saithe.

“This builds on the strong deals that the UK has already concluded with the EU and Norway for 2024, negotiating as an independent coastal state to support a profitable and sustainable UK fishing industry, while safeguarding our marine environment for future generations.”

Since Brexit, the UK has negotiated annually with the Faroese government under the bilateral framework agreement to consider potential exchanges of quota.

This year’s negotiations also built on the UK and Faroese commitments to co-operate on monitoring, control and surveillance measures, as well as scientific efforts.

The deal also comes at a time when Britain is looking for alternative sources of fish after breaking ties with Russia since its invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.

A 35% tariff on Russian fish has seen imports decline by more than half in the past year, revealed data from the Norwegian Seafood Council, presented at its annual UK Norway Seafood Summit last week.

However, the industry highlighted that a “loophole” in government policy was still allowing Russian whitefish to be sold in the UK.

Currently, the UK does not have any sanctions imposed on Russian whitefish coming into the nation via a third party, such as China – which has seen exports to the UK increase by 11% in the past year.

At the summit, fisheries minister Spencer said the government was not ruling out further sanctions as “we do need to send strong messages to the Russian government”.

“It is something that certainly we are considering, and we will see how much cod is going by that route,” he added.