UKIP Fisheries Spokesman Mike Hookem MEP has welcomed a move by Hull-based fish processors, Fillet Fish Limited, to further expand into the North American market, saying, “this is exactly the type of opportunity the UK fishing industry should be exploring in the wake of Brexit.”
Mr Hookem’s comments after it was announced the 35-staff fish processing firm - which already has a client base in New York, San Diego and Miami - has secured funding from Santander Corporate & Commercial to increase its market footprint in North America – the world’s biggest food import market.
Speaking of the deal, Hull based Mr Hookem - who sits on the European Parliament Fisheries (PECH) Committee - said; “deals like this to expand the market for ethically sourced British fish are encouraging and especially important in the current climate.
With the EU threatening to try to close down markets inside Europe if the UK does not accept their demands for a continuation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), we must ensure we have alternative markets in place.”
“For me, the EU’s position is nothing more than blackmail, but I'm sure this move by Fillet Fish Limited is the first of many to come.
“The EU realised long ago the quality and value of the fish caught in British waters, and that is why they were so keen to grab control of our fishing grounds as a condition of the UK’s entry into the then EEC.
“It is my belief that Brexit will provide opportunities for the British fishing industry that we would never have been able to explore as a part of the EU bloc and allow us to realise the potential of an industry estimated to be worth up to £6.3 billion to the UK economy.
“The expansion of Fillet Fish Limited is not only good for Hull but also has a positive impact on jobs across the North of England and Scotland, where the fish is sourced and shipped. For me, this reinforces the position I have always taken; that investment and expansion in the fishing industry can have a positive impact on shore based jobs, as well as those at sea.