The UK’s fishery is a public asset worth in the region of £1,125 million. The free allocation of quota to commercial businesses on the basis of 2 years’ track record is a similar process to permitting that public asset to be squatted. The complex and badly drafted regulation which underpins this process has permitted a great deal of uncertainty in the allocation of fishing quota and the opaque mechanisms for the allocation of quota are likely to lead to concentration of quota among a few fishing businesses. This is largely responsibility of the UK authorities rather than European Union. It will need primary legislation to resolve this issue and establish a proper transparent system according to the practices conducted almost universally elsewhere in government when disposing of public assets to the private sector.
Appleby, T., van der Werf, Y., & Williams, C. (2016). The management of the UK's public fishery: A large squatting claim?