MICHAEL Gove will today outline plans to “regain control” of fishing waters after Brexit, including overhauling current rules to claim a much larger share of stocks in British seas.

The Environment Secretary’s blueprint will detail how upcoming legislation will give the UK “full control of its waters and the ability to set fishing opportunities such as quotas”.

It seeks to overhaul the current system “based on fishing patterns from the 1970s”, where EU states land eight times as much fish in UK waters as British vessels do in EU seas.

And it will set out a number of methods to explore “fairer allocation of fishing opportunities”, such as zonal attachment – a system which would take the distribution of fish in national waters into account.

This would lead to a radical shake-up of the current system which reflects historic fishing patterns. British waters currently contain 88 per cent of adult North Sea herring, one of Europe’s most popular fish.

Mr Gove’s White Paper is expected to address concerns fishing could be used as a “bargaining chip” in Brexit negotiations by making clear that market access for fisheries products is separate to the question of fishing opportunities and access to waters.

He said leaving the EU “creates a sea of opportunity for our fishing industry in Scotland”.

He added: “Outside the Common Fisheries Policy we can take back control of our waters and revitalise our coastal communities."

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But Scottish ministers raised “significant concerns” over the proposals – which include charging for fish caught in excess of quotas – and slammed the UK Government for failing to engage, insisting they were only handed a copy of the final report days before publication.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “It is deeply frustrating that once again the UK Government has failed to substantively engage with us while developing its future fisheries proposals.

“This near lack of formal engagement presents a significant and continued risk to the current devolved settlements and is totally unacceptable.”

He said fishing is fully devolved, and insisted he would “resolutely oppose any attempt to interfere with the established powers of the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish zone or Scottish vessels wherever they operate”.

Until plans for a transition period, the UK will continue to follow EU fishing rules until 2020.

Mr Gove said the UK would end the “wasteful discarding of fish” after Brexit and and make clear vessels will only be allowed to fish in British waters if they adhere to high sustainability standards.

His paper will also commit to publishing an annual statement setting out the health of fish stocks.

Meanwhile, access to waters and fishing opportunities would be negotiated on an annual basis, mirroring the approach taken in countries such as Norway.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, welcomed the blueprint but said governments now needed to show “real backbone” to ensure the aspirations become reality.