Finfish Industry Advisory Group to provide forum for fisheries management issues

Finfish Industry Advisory Group to provide forum for fisheries management issues

Fishing industry invited to engage with new group to support ongoing sustainable management of regionally important fisheries for non-quota species.

A forum to discuss non-quota finfish species

A new management group is being formed to focus on non-quota finfish species around the UK. The Finfish Industry Advisory Group (FIAG) will act as a steering group and provide a forum for industry to engage in national level management issues. UK finfish businesses are encouraged to register interest in joining or engaging with the group ahead of an inaugural meeting this spring.

The FIAG will serve as a point of contact for all matters related to the UK’s non-quota finfish sector. It will follow the co-management model adopted by the Shellfish Industry Advisory Group, which was formed in November 2019.

Finfish non-quota species are often high value, potentially vulnerable but generally data poor. The group will work to assess sustainable solutions to issues facing the sector through up-to-date science and evidence to ensure the species are managed sustainably. Species of interest to the group include lemon sole, turbot, bass, brill, pilchards, red mullet, gurnards, john dory and others.

The group will provide a forum through which industry, Government and the research community can work collaboratively for the long-term. It will have an open membership policy, welcoming fishers, fishing industry representatives, researchers and government organisations from across the UK. We will be providing Secretariat support for the group.

Bass is a non-quota finfish species

Areas of interest to be discussed at inaugural meeting

The new group will have its inaugural meeting in spring 2022. At this first session members will discuss initial key issues and opportunities for FIAG involvement. Areas of interest are likely to include:

  • Support of the Fisheries Management Plan development process for finfish non-quota species;
  • Ensuring fair access to fishing opportunities;
  • Development of scientific research proposals to address data deficiency in non-quota finfish species of key socio-economic importance;
  • Ensuring the sustainability of the species in the long-term through the development of data-driven solutions to management issues;
  • Industry adaptation and response to the impacts of climate change;
  • Spatial squeeze and competition for marine space;
  • Specialised Committee: how will the new group relate to the international dimensions of management on non-quota species;
  • Implications for the landing obligation if more stocks are place under greater limitations.
Red mullet is a non-quota finfish species

Victoria Prentis, Fisheries Minister, said:

I am delighted to support the launch of the Finfish Industry Advisory Group. As an independent coastal state, we look forward to collaborating with industry and key stakeholders to improve management of our important non-quota finfish stocks, and to deliver the objectives of the Fisheries Act and Joint Fisheries Statement.

Sophie Throup, the Interim Chair of the FIAG and Head of Agriculture, Fisheries and Sustainable Sourcing at Morrisons, said:

I’m delighted to take on the role of Interim Chair for the new Finfish Industry Authority Group, and I am looking forward to working with environmental sustainability experts and the fishing industry to find solutions that are right for everyone.

The success of these initiatives depends on strong engagement with industry, so we’re inviting seafood businesses in the non-quota finfish sector to join or engage with the group to inform important initial discussions around our areas of focus.

Aoife Martin, Director of Operations at Seafish said:

Seafish is pleased to be supporting the new Finfish Industry Advisory Group. Finfish non-quota species had a landings value of £39.1 million in 2019, which highlights their importance for the industry.

The creation of this group is an important step in bringing together members of the industry, government and science community to work together to improve the sustainable management of commercially important finfish fisheries. This new group follows a great example of positive work already underway for UK shellfish, where a similar forum for collaboration around management issues is already active.
John Dory is a non-quota finfish species

Fishing businesses catching non-quota finfish species are encouraged to join or engage with the FIAG on matters related to sustainable management of these fisheries.

Further information and contacts

Further information about the FIAG is available on our website from the link below:

To register interest in joining or engaging with the group please contact:

Holly Kaiser
Fisheries Project Officer
07943 094 566