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Why This Matters: One of the key issues in the Brexit negotiations that will begin after the U.K. formally leaves the EU on Friday is bound to be fisheries – right now all EU nations have free access to the U.K.’s lucrative fishing grounds. President Macron of France vowed that fishing will be treated “as an essential economic interest for our country that must be defended” in the talks. And with climate change, the stakes are even higher for France and other EU nations because the U.K. is on the “winning” side of the fish migrations that will only get worse as the waters of the North Atlantic continue to warm. From the looks of it, neither the EU or the UK is willing to back down when it comes to fishing rights. That could scuttle the entire Brexit deal and set off a trade war between the U.K. and Europe at the end of 2020 when negotiations must conclude.
Fishing Is Important to the Economies of Coastal Communities in the U.K. and the EU
But, but, but if the U.K. bans European fishing fleets from its waters going forward, then the Europeans may block or put high tariffs on fish products imported into Europe from the U.K. — thus essentially blocking their markets from U.K. fish exports. And that could hurt U.K. fishers because half of all the fishcaught there are currently sold in the EU.
Why This Matters: This may ultimately about all that oil and gas, but the conflict today is overfishing. China continues to use its military to prevent Vietnamese fishing boats from harvesting in the disputed areas.
We know that rising ocean temperatures are causing fish stocks to migrate to cooler waters, and now we have new evidence as to why. A study by German scientists found that juvenile fish and fish that are ready to mate are especially sensitive to changes in water temperature, and as a result, up to 60 percent of all species may be forced to leave their traditional spawning areas as waters warm.
Why This Matters: Fish populations need functional habitat to survive and procreate.
By Jean Flemma and Miriam Goldstein Historically, the ocean has been overlooked in the climate debate. That makes no sense. Ignoring the 71 percent of the planet that creates more than half the oxygen we breathe and has absorbed 90 percent of the excess heat created by climate change can hardly lead to a complete […]
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