Fact Check: is 80% of UK fish given away to the rest of Europe?

Paul Fernandes, Bryce D. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


As a result of membership of the Common Fisheries Policy, we are now allowed to catch less than 20% of the fish that swim in British waters. The other 80% we have given away to the rest of Europe.

Nigel Farage, UKIP leader, on the campaign trail

When fact checking this statement, it is first of all worth pointing out that if the UK was allowed to catch 20% of the fish that swim in British waters and the EU took the rest, then there would be no fish left in the sea.

In attempting to check the facts behind this assertion, one must assume, therefore, that Nigel Farage is referring to the allocations of fishing quotas which are determined by the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
PublisherThe Conversation UK
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

Paul G Fernandes receives funding from Fisheries Innovation Scotland, the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland and the European Commission. He is affiliated with Fisheries Innovation Scotland and the Fishing Industry Science Alliance. Thanks to Coby Needle from Marine Scotland Science for help in compiling the list of 2015 EU & UK quotas.

Bryce Stewart has previously received funding from Fauna and Flora International, the Community of Arran Seabed Trust, Natural Environment Research Council and Natural England, but this article does not represent the views of the research councils. He is a member of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and on the steering committee of the Sustainable Inshore Fisheries Trust.


  • Fisheries
  • European Commission
  • UKIP
  • Nigel Farage
  • Election FactCheck
  • Common Fisheries Policy
  • UK elections 2015
  • Fact Check UK
  • EU Fact Check


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