The prime minister also claimed the UK would control “all the fish” in its coastal waters in years to come – even though the EU has the right to impose harsh retaliation if it tries.
“Unfortunately, the demand in restaurants on the Continent for UK fish has not been what it was before the pandemic,” Mr Johnson told an interviewer.
He was put on the spot after a protest over the impact of the Brexit fishing deal in London led to 14 people being issued with fixed penalty notices.
Lorries transporting freshly-caught produce have been held up at distribution hubs and many have struggled to enter into France.
Some Scottish fishermen have taken to landing their catch in Denmark to avoid the “bureaucratic system” that exports to Europe now involve.
But Mr Johnson said that “insofar as there are problems at the moment”, they were “caused by teething problems, people not filling in the right forms, or misunderstandings”
There would be compensation “when it’s not people’s fault”, but, the prime minister claimed: “Be in no doubt that there are great opportunities for fishermen across the whole of the UK.”
And he added: “In just five years’ time, five and a half years’ time, we will have access to all the fish in all of our coastal waters.”
However, as The Independent revealed, the Christmas Eve deal handed the EU the ability to shut off gas and electricity supplies if the UK tries to seize control of disputed stocks.