Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Brendan Flynn
9th Annual Marine Economics and Policy Research Symposium, 8th November 2018
Keep Calm and Carry on Fishing? The plausibility of Brexit sourced Disruption and Conflict for Irish Fisheries Governance and Enforcement.
Glenlo Abbey Hotel, Galway City
Invited Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
This paper examines the plausibility of fisheries after Brexit providing the basis for a major disruptive challenge to existing Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) based governance and enforcement in Ireland. Could Brexit led to significant conflict or even potentially new ‘Cod Wars’ with the UK? This paper argues that continuity is a more plausible trajectory not least because the UK have decisively postponed fisheries for resolution after and beyond the current negotiations, which suggests stability until at least 2020. Moreover, many of the key variables that are present in many fisheries disputes are not likely to be salient: crucially maritime boundaries are settled under UNCLOS. As such then the UK looks set to impact on the CFP much like Norway has, be becoming an occasionally awkward but essentially pragmatic and reciprocal relationship to guarantee mutual fishing rights and access to markets for fish imports and exports. It is not however denied here that there is the some potential for conflict. Indeed fisheries disputes involving the UK have already emerged, notably with France near the Channel Islands related to scallop dredging. However, the longer term trend is more likely to present Ireland with both opportunities and more subtle challenges to our existing role in the CFP. Given that Ireland will now have to police a vast maritime border with what will become a third country, greater and new types of resources, such as drones and remote sensor platforms, will likely be required by the Irish Naval Service. In the longer term, as the UK experiments with deviating away from CFP norms, for example on discards, it may well be that it provides an alternative model for fisheries management, increasing contestation, more fractious policy debate and an undermining of any fragile consensus on what has never been a very popular or effective common fisheries policy anyway. Moreover, the impact of climate change on fish stocks’ fecundity and migration is a wild card that could generate intense political pressures on ‘business as usual’ fisheries governance regimes. In this sense, Brexit is but one trend in an evolving fisheries governance paradigm.
Publication Themes
Applied Social Sciences and Public Policy, Environment, Marine and Energy