Whitby's trawlermen have urged the government to stand firm in the ongoing Brexit fishing rights negotiations.

Watch @krisjepson's report here:

Richard Brewer has fished out of Whitby for decades. In the last 22 years he has had his son by his side, also called Richard. During those years both say they have seen the destruction of the British fishing industry, which they now want back.Indeed Richard (jnr) said "when I was at school this harbour had more than 20 trawlers, now there's only one... ours. That can't be right."His father has always felt that the fishing industry was "sold down the river" when Britain first entered the EU and he blames the European quota system for ruining the sector.

We are very fearful of what outcome going to be. We’re only a very small part of the GDP of the country, and all the fishermen are very fearful that he may give way at last minute to get a deal..We must have control of what happens in our waters - but we must be realistic about this.

Richard Brewer, Fisherman
Richard Brewer

The government is trying to negotiate to have British waters brought back under British jurisdiction. This would mean Britain would be an "independent coastal state" and would have control over its own coast up to 200 nautical miles, in what is known as its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).The EU will not accept that deal unless its own European fleets are allowed to continue fishing in the British EEZ at the current or slightly lower levels than it is now. The EU further argues that without a deal on fish, there will be no special access to the EU single market.That is a compromise too far for Richard Brewer (Jnr). He told ITV News when he voted for Brexit, he "voted to leave the next day". He would be happy with a no deal Brexit if it meant his industry regaining control of Britain's waters.

Although I have respect for European fishermen - I've no sympathy if they have to struggle if we get a no deal Brexit, because we’ve had it tough and we never had sympathy, it was just hard luck for us. What was taken from us was just redistributed throughout the European community. It’s not conservation and we’d like some of that back.

Richard Brewer Jnr, Fisherman

More than 100 boxes of cod are processed at Lockers Trawlers in Whitby. Predominantly caught on the Scottish coast, the fish are then exported.Arnold Locker, the owner, told ITV News it hurts when he hears his industry being spoken about in terms of being "relatively small" and "only worth 0.1 per cent of GDP". He argued that if Britain regained control of its fisheries, it would be able to catch and land more local fish, sell to local businesses and that would ultimately grow the fishing industry to levels it once had.Currently, he said, there are many fish that cannot be caught due to the EU quotas, but European vessels come into the waters and fish over their designated quotas.

If we were allowed to catch what was in our waters, then we would be a very large industry within the UK. We want a future, a future for our families, that’s what this is about. This isn’t just about 0.1% of GDP. This is about a way of life that was lost 40 odd years ago.

Arnold Locker, Lockers Trawlers