The owners of Hull distant-water trawler Kirkella have described the government's failure to land a fishing access deal with Norway as a "disgrace and a national embarrassment".

The £52m super-trawler is currently tied up in the city's King George Dock unable to fish in Norwegian waters until next year at the earliest.

It follows the collapse of talks over a new post-Brexit access deal with Norway that would have allowed the British distant-water fishing fleet to keep working there during 2021.

Without any agreement, Kirkella owners UK Fisheries Ltd say they are reviewing the company's activities in Hull because there are no immediately viable opportunities to fish in its traditional grounds off Norway. Over 100 crew members are currently without work.

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Sir Barney White-Spunner, advisory board chairman at Hull-based UK Fisheries
Sir Barney White-Spunner, advisory board chairman at Hull-based UK Fisheries

In an updated briefing on the issue, chaiman of the comany's advisory board Sir Barney White-Spunner said: "The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) was unable even to maintain the rights we have had to fish in Norwegian waters for decades, never mind land any ‘Brexit Bonus’.

"Now even more cod will be imported from the Norwegians, who will continue to sell their fish products to the UK tariff-free, while we are excluded from these waters.

"Quite simply, this is a disgrace and a national embarrassment."

He said the failure to reach any agreement in the bilateral fisheries negotiations was "nothing short of disastrous".

"The unintended consequence of no deal is the start of a mackerel war," he said.

"Norway will soon announce 30-40 per cent uplift in their quotas. Russia, Iceland, Greenland and Faroes will follow suit.

"The stock of mackerel will dwindle at a real cost to the UK balance-sheet and to sustainability and conservation efforts. No-one wins from a no deal with Norway.

"DEFRA must reopen negotiations with Norway before there is nothing left to negotiate.

"British politicians have failed to land a single bilateral fisheries access deal with any of the UK’s traditional partners around the North Atlantic – The Faroes, Greenland and now Norway.

"This must be seen as a failure of the UK as a newly independent coastal state."

Sir Barney said it was now up to fisheries minister Victoria Atkins to deliver on pledges she made during a recent crisis meeting with industry officials following the end of the negotiations.