The United Kingdom regains sovereignty over its waters, although a transitional period of five and a half years has been established.
Contrary to what the fishing sector thinks, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, louis planes, pointed out that the agreement reached between the European Union and the United Kingdom is “a good deal, that provides stability and legal certainty to the fishing sector, which will be able to continue with the exercise of its activity, in conditions similar to the current ones”. In addition, in a statement, it recalls that “the proposed catch reductions will have limited effects for Spanish fishing.”
Planas has also highlighted that species of great interest to Spain such as the southern stocks of mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting. And benefits have been achieved in favor of the Spanish fleet in northern hake, the main species for the vessels that fish in the area.
Through the agreement, the United Kingdom regains sovereignty over its waters and control of its fishery resources, although it has achieved establish a transitional period of five and a half years (until June 30, 2026) so that the sector can adapt gradually and in a balanced way to the new situation, without its activity being interrupted.
The United Kingdom obtains an increase in its fishing quotas that, at the end of the adjustment period in 2026, reaches 25% of the average value of the catches made by the community countries in British waters.
To reach this value, the percentage of reduction in catch volume of the different shared species is different. “There will be decreases, at the end of the 5 and a half year period, of just 1% in the case of northern hake, a species of great interest to Spain, and there are even species that have been left out of the agreement,” they explain.
Thus, the Ministry recalls that the quotas of the southern stocks, with such important species as mackerel, horse mackerel and blue whiting for the activity of the Spanish fleet, mainly the inshore fleet, will not suffer any modification and the fishing opportunities for the Spanish fleet. There are also no transfers in deep water species, such as sea bream, alfonsinos, black sable and grenadiers.
With regard to other species of great interest to the Spanish fleet (hake, monkfish and megrim), the established distribution key covers the needs of the fishing sector. Spain contributes only with transfers in 17 of the 32 fishery resources in which it has an allocation.
For the northern Hake, the emblematic species of the Spanish fleet fishes in the Gran Sol, this reduction is only 1.02% in 2026, going from a current catch quota of 29.5% to 28.5% at the end of the transitional period 5 and a half years old. In Gallo Norte, in zone 7, the adjustment for 2026 will be 2.5%, standing at fishing possibilities of 27.5% compared to the current 30%, while in zone 6, the decrease will be in 2.2%.
The descent, for northern monkfish, depending on the capture areas, it ranges between 0.24% and 0.76% when reaching the end of the adaptation period of 5 and a half years. The cession of ling (resource with the majority catch in the United Kingdom) is 1.74% in 2026, which goes from fishing possibilities of the current 27.56% to 25.82%.
Currently, there are 88 Spanish-flagged vessels that have the possibility of fishing in United Kingdom fishing grounds. Some vessels that employ 2,150 crew members and generate around 10,750 indirect jobs. In total they capture about 8,000 tons, worth almost 32 million euros. These figures in catches and economic value account for 1% of the total Spanish fleet.