Loophole gives Russian trawlers access to £16m of fish in UK waters, despite fishing ban

Russian trawlers nonetheless have access to £16 million of fish in UK waters as a result of of a loophole that impacts a stretch of sea off the coast of Scotland, authorities officers have warned.

Despite a ban on Russian vessels fishing in UK waters or touchdown at British ports, trawlers have access to a “Special Area” that’s collectively managed by the UK Government and the Faroe Islands.

At least six Russian boats have lately entered the world to fish for whitefish, estimated to be price round £16 million, utilizing Faroese licences, authorities sources stated.

In response, British officers have urged their counterparts in the Faroe Islands to take a “tougher stance” and cease approving fishing licences for Russian trawlers as a result of of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

A Whitehall supply stated ministers are involved that permitting the boats in throughout an upcoming six-week window of migration for Blue Whiting will enable Russia to revenue from the fish, funding its “war machine”.

Blue Whiting is from the identical household of marine fish as cod, haddock and pollock, and is normally processed into fish meals and oil, though it’s typically eaten contemporary in Russia.

The UK has already slapped a 35 per cent tariff on imports of Russian whitefish in an try to harm the nation’s fishing business, and has introduced it is not going to problem any licences to Russian trawlers as a result of of the warfare in Ukraine.

But below a collection of worldwide agreements, Britain can’t block access to the “Special Area”, off the north coast of Scotland in the North Atlantic Sea, if the Faroe Islands select to problem licences.

‘Ultimately the right thing to do’

A authorities supply stated: “The Faroe Islands should take a harder stance on this. Allowing Russian vessels access to an space price round £16 million in the midst of the horrors we’re seeing in Ukraine is solely mistaken.

“We, alongside our allies and companions, have taken pressing motion to maximise harm to Putin’s warfare machine and degrade the Russian economic system for years to come.

“We will categorically not licence any Russian flagged vessels to fish anywhere in UK waters, and we will continue to urge the Faroes to follow our lead, ban these vessels, and do what is ultimately the right thing to do.”

Under present fishing regulation, international boats can solely fish in UK waters if they’re granted licences, which requires a framework settlement between Britain and the opposite nation.

The UK doesn’t have such an settlement with Russia, so trawlers are usually not normally allowed in British waters anyway, besides to move by.

The majority of international licences are granted to French trawlers, which have beforehand been concerned in altercations with British fishermen over scallops in the Channel.

Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, stated Russian boats have been “not welcome here”.

The Government of the Faroe Islands was contacted for remark.

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