Herring and Class Struggle

Capitalism came late to Iceland. At the end of the 19th century this large, wind-swept, thinly populated island was made up of small towns, farms and seasonal fishing stations. Then European capitalists saw another Klondike in the herring-rich waters of the north Atlantic..

Friday, 8 July 2022

Same storm, different boats - Britain's fishing crisis after Brexit



I recently wrote an article for International Socialism Journal, Britain's fishing crisis after Brexit which looks at the problems faced by commercial fishers based in Britain. Many of the issues described will be familiar to anyone interested in fishing communities in Iceland, across the European Union and further afield.

"Today, the British fishing industry faces a perfect storm of capitalist crisis, compounded by the effects of the pandemic and Brexit, overfishing and climate change. To understand how the industry got to this state, this article looks at what has happened to fishing, fishers and fishing communities in Britain since the Second World War, tracing the development of capitalist property relations, food production and retail. I focus on the development of the EU and its Common Fisheries Policy, because it has shaped the state of the industry today. I also consider why fishing still carries such political weight and what the real solutions are to ensuring that fishing has a sustainable future, providing both food and jobs that are safe and well paid."

Read the full article here