LONDON (Reuters) – Britain published on Thursday its proposals for future trade with the European Union after it leaves the bloc next March.

In the White Papers section on fishing, the government proposed annual negotiations and “fairer” access to waters based on more scientific methods which also promote sustainable management of stocks.

Many fisherman in Britain supported Brexit, hoping it would give them a bigger share of the catch in one of the worlds richest fishing grounds surrounding the country.

Trade access, however, is also vital to Britain because it exports the bulk of the seafood it catches, while importing the majority of what it consumes.

The proposals form part of Britains negotiations with the EU over the future shape of trading links.

The main fishing proposals are:

– Putting in place new arrangements for annual negotiations on access to waters and the sharing of fishing opportunities based on fairer and more scientific methods.

– Any agreement should promote sustainable fishing and respect the UKs position as an independent coastal state.

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– “While the UK will be leaving the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), the UK is committed to working closely with Member States and other coastal states to ensure sustainable management of shared stocks and the wider marine environment.”

– The UK will publish an annual assessment on the state of fish stocks and its approach to setting opportunities for the year ahead. If particular stocks are becoming depleted, it will work with all interested parties to draw up and implement recovery plans.

– The UK remains fully committed to ending the wasteful discarding of fish.

– Trade in fisheries products should take place without tariffs or quotas.

Reporting by Nigel Hunt; editing by David Evans

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