The first five Fisheries Management Plans have been published. The plans set out how the UK government aims to work with the fishing industry and other stakeholders to support the long-term future and sustainable management of the UK’s fish stocks.

DEFRA states that these plans will help deliver the long-term economic viability of the UK’s key commercial fishing stocks through measures such as increasing minimum conservation reference sizes or introducing seasonal or area closures to protect juvenile and spawning stocks.

‘Fishers and fishing communities have more to lose than anyone if fish stocks are not sustainably managed. These plans are a genuinely ambitious attempt to do that important job better,’ said NFFO chief executive Mike Cohen.

‘With knowledgeable stakeholders involved and good quality science at the heart of the process, FMPs are well placed to sustain and grow our fishing fleet’s ability to keep providing affordable, healthy, low-carbon food.’


Photo by Scott Brayley


Alongside the publication of the plans, the government has also announced a further £4 million – part of the £100 million UK Seafood Fund – to support projects for the UK’s catching sector that make improvements to boats, at ports and in health and safety.

Fisheries Management Plans (FMPs) are intended to underpin UK fisheries management outside the EU, and are the result of extensive engagement with the fishing sector, recreational anglers and other stakeholders. They set out short, medium and long-term actions to protect and improve stocks.

Fisker Forum reported that: ‘Priority short term measures include accelerating work to manage levels of fishing of scallop, lobster, crab and including introducing a permit scheme or licence entitlement with conditions for whelk fishing, introducing new or increased Minimum Conservation References Sizes for crawfish, brill, lemon sole and turbot, bringing forward a review of shore and inshore netting for bass to help reduce bycatch of bass, the introduction of engine power restrictions for flyshooters and a minimum mesh size in the Channel, as well as accelerating work to address the effects of mobile bottom trawl nets on the seabed, and bringing stakeholders together to develop an action plan to deliver sustainable harvesting of cuttlefish.’

The full news release from the UK Government can be read here.

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