Funding in place to develop a new service offering a consolidated, simplified & practical view of the UK's MPA network

14 June 2018

The Kingfisher team of Seafish has been successful in receiving an EMFF grant from the MMO to undertake a vital project that will create and deliver a consolidated and fishing industry focussed dataset of all UK Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). This project will assess ways of simplifying fisheries information and provide a new service to fishermen in a form they can access and use in port and at sea.

Entitled 'MPA Mapping for Fishermen: A consolidated, simplified & practical view of the UK's MPA network', the project will start on 1 September 2018 and last for two years, ending on 31 August 2020. A new role of 'Kingfisher MPA Manager' will be created and recruited over the summer.

This project will add to the existing services already provided by Kingfisher in supplying the fishing industry with crucial information to assist with safe fishing and high level offshore awareness. It will also help the UK fishing industry to comply with the increasing fisheries regulations and improve protection of sensitive marine environments. 

The project aims to produce electronic charts and associated materials for use by fisheries stakeholders on land and on-board fishing vessels via their navigational and fishing plotter systems. These charts and materials would inform commercial fishermen of the location of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) around the UK and the prohibited and permissible fishing operations in each area. 

At present, commercial fishermen face practical difficulties in doing this. In order to facilitate compliance with the regulations, and to promote protection of the marine environment, this unique and challenging project aims to improve fisheries' understanding of MPAs by:

  • collating a UK wide dataset of positional and meta data;
  • simplifying the principles of underlying legislation and regulations;
  • delivering practical and easy-to-access information for use at sea and on land.

The project will comprise three main stages:

  • Stage 1: Data assessment and consultation with industry
  • Stage 2: Collection, production and delivery of data
  • Stage 3: Data update proposal

As outlined above, in order to shape this service and gain cross-industry input, Seafish will be engaging with interested parties from September 2018.

For further information please contact Matt Frow, Matthew.Frow@seafish.co.uk.