Fresh blow for Yorkshire's last distant water trawler Kirkella in UK-Faroes deal

THE owners of the UK’s last distant water trawler say they’ve been “further disadvantaged” by a deal between the UK Government and the Faroes.

British ministers said the deal struck with the islands in the North Atlantic had secured an extra £2m worth of fishing opportunities than under previous EU arrangements.

However chief executive of UK Fisheries Jane Sandell which operates the £52m Hull-based trawler Kirkella, said while the deal may be good for Scottish trawlers, it meant the trawler had 500 tonnes less fish to catch.

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The company lost around half of its usual cod catch as a result of a separate deal with Norway, leading to warnings that Kirkella may be sold.

Kirkella has now reduced to one crew  Picture: UK Fisheries LtdKirkella has now reduced to one crew  Picture: UK Fisheries Ltd
Kirkella has now reduced to one crew Picture: UK Fisheries Ltd

Ms Sandell said the vessel was not currently up for sale, but there was a real risk of shareholders pulling out of the UK, adding: “They have no faith in the Government making this better, even in ten years time.”

Ms Sandell said it had been “two years of failure, which this year has been dressed up as a success”.

Barrie Deas, chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, said the main benefits would go north of the border, where the fleets were based. He said: “Overall the UK will benefit from this because it will increase our fishing opportunities.”

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He said the reciprocal agreement was meant to work for both sides, adding: “The Faroese are presumably giving away opportunities to the UK that they are unlikely to use and on the whole we are transferring opportunities that we are not going to use.

“Overall it should work in everyone’s interests. Within that broader picture there are different winners and losers and certainly in the last couple of years, Kirkella is the one that has been most disadvantaged.”

The deal sees the cod and haddock quota rise from 761 tonnes to 1,000, and from 603 tonnes to 1,250 for Atlantic pollack. Other species have also seen large increases in quota.

Fisheries Minister Victoria Prentis said negotiating as an independent coastal state, they had “secured a better deal that will provide UK fleets with £5.5m worth of fishing opportunities”.

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