The UK is one of Europe’s top five fishing nations. The current system of quota allocation and varied fleets in this country, as well as the recent commitment by Government to introduce a new Fisheries Bill, makes it an ideal location for considering a range of smart fisheries management tools – appropriate for large and small-scale operations - that can support the UK’s coastal communities, and ensure long-term environmental and economic sustainability.
The publication of our EU Discard Reduction Manual is already helping to inform the implementation of the Landing Obligation (the banning of quota discards), where fishermen operating in mixed fisheries face unique and complex challenges in their effort to implement the policy.
With this historic maritime nation now leading the way on fishing innovation, fishermen and fishery managers are already demonstrating that with the right incentives and support, fishermen can reduce their discarding, improve quality of catch and contribute to resilient, sustainable fisheries.
In a post-Brexit environment we will continue to make a strong case to fishermen and fishery managers that flexible, durable quota management systems can help build security and resilience in the UK’s economically and biologically significant fisheries.
These elements should be incorporated into a new Fisheries Bill which also considers the transboundary nature of shared stocks and the continued shifts in stock ranges and distribution as a result of climate change. We will maintain the position that any Fisheries Bill must be adaptive and include mechanisms that support resilience, and effectively future-proof national fisheries policy.