Brexit: How Boris Johnson is fighting with catch quotas: The herring extortion – domestic politics

It is 45 centimeters long and weighs one kilogram, but in the big Brexit poker with the EU, the North Sea herring (Clupea harengus) is Brexit Boris Johnson’s biggest pound!

The reason: German herring is caught almost exclusively in British territorial waters. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (56) has the EU negotiators hooked and can “really piss us off”, as even Chancellor Angela Merkel (66, CDU) recently put it internally.

Particularly spicy: In Merkel’s constituency (Vorpommern-Rügen), Saßnitz has the largest fishing fleet in Germany and one of the largest processing factories for herring.

The fronts between the EU and Great Britain have been deadlocked for weeks. London insists on the fishing rights of its 200-mile economic zone, Brussels threatens in this case with an import ban on fish and fish products into the EU. Motto: fishing rights against free trade.

The German fishermen are alarmed. “The entire German North Sea herring quota is fished in British waters,” says Uwe Richter from the German Deep Sea Fisheries Association, more than 50,000 tons per year.

Mackerel, cod, saithe, haddock and other popular food fish of the Germans are also caught two-thirds around the British Isles.

Richter, who is also the managing director of Euro-Baltic fish processing in Sassnitz-Mukran (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania) and processes 40,000 tons of North Sea herring there annually, expects 230 jobs that are at risk if the British plan were to come true. The fishing industry could make a loss of around 100 million euros.

Photo: Jörg Carstensen / dpa

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Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner (47, CDU) is alarmedPhoto: Jörg Carstensen / dpa

Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner (47, CDU) is also alarmed.

Opposite BILD is combative: “Our fishermen in Germany need long-term guarantees with quotas and access to the British fishing grounds. There has to be a fair compromise here, as these are straddling stocks: they spend parts of their life cycle in UK waters, parts in EU waters. That has to be reflected. What I am not going to do is to sacrifice fishing for an agreement in other sectors. There can only be one package. “