From the NFFO: The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO) have joined together to create a new industry/science forum.

The inaugural meeting was held on the 30th November 2022, facilitating a more direct dialogue between the fishing industry and fisheries scientists from Cefas.

NFFO Chief Executive, Barrie Deas, said: “We have long recognised the importance of a strong dialogue between fisheries scientists and the industry, but in recent years we have tended to hold those discussions within a policy context. It’s important that this continues but we think that a forum like this would allow for a more direct conversation between fisheries scientists and the industry to take place. You can’t expect to have good fisheries management based on inadequate information, so understanding each other is of paramount importance.”

Cefas CEO Neil Hornby commented: “This Forum provides a great opportunity for the fishing industry and Cefas’ scientists to come together to discuss the pivotal issues facing the marine environment. I hope that this Forum will continue to promote a closer working relationship and enhance outcomes for the ocean.”


Topics for discussion at future meetings of the Forum were discussed and will likely include:

  • shellfish management
  • scientific contribution to FMPs
  • improving use of industry data in assessments
  • discards/selectivity
  • mixed fisheries
  • data-limited species
  • gear design and bycatch mitigation
  • future climate change impacts on fisheries
  • marine spatial prioritisation
  • long-term trends/challenges in specific fisheries; e.g. North Sea demersal, Celtic Sea and Channel
  • new emerging fisheries


Although the first meeting included scientists and the NFFO Executive, the Forum could evolve over time to incorporate other parties. The Forum will meet three or four time a year, with the next meeting in April 2023.

The full story from the NFFO can be read here.

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