Marine Environment News in Brief - September 2021

The latest news on regulation in the marine environment. This month features climate change, tuna recovery, marine conservation and consultations.

Fisheries and Climate change

The All Parliamentary Party Group (APPG) on Fisheries have published a Policy Brief covering Fisheries Climate Resilience. This explores a variety of case studies for building resilience to climate change into fisheries management and coastal communities. The policy brief can be viewed on the APPG website.

In collaboration with Seafood 2040, the APPG on Fisheries will be hosting an event on Aquaculture in the UK on 26 October. An increasingly important source of seafood in the UK, different segments of the aquaculture sector face different but overlapping challenges. These include competition for space and resources, complex legislation, limited consumer demand, environmental issues such as water quality, and lack of access to resources. Registration for the event can be found on the APPG website.

Fishers’ participation in management and science of fisheries

The government's 25 Year Environment Plan and the Fisheries White Paper, which lead to the Fisheries Act 2020, set out ambitions to include a wide range of stakeholders in management decisions and data collection.

Defra funded research has recently been published that evaluated how commercial and recreational fishers engage in wider fisheries management. Both fishers and anglers expressed a strong desire to contribute their knowledge and expertise, although concerns were expressed about trust and recognition of this input. Key  to successful participation was an  understanding of the limits of national policy, which often only impacts larger businesses. The concerns for smaller businesses are much more localised and generally less relevant to national policy. 

The research report can be viewed on the Government website.

Tuna Recovery

During the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Congress (3-11 Sept 2021), it was announced that several important tuna species have stepped back from the edge of extinction. The unexpectedly fast recovery has been attributed to successful fisheries management efforts.

The Atlantic bluefin tuna, previously listed as endangered, now qualifies for a status of least concern. Whilst yellowfin tuna and albacore tuna move from near-threatened to least concern. The southern bluefin tuna has improved from critically endangered to endangered. Skipjack tuna maintains its status of least concern.

Further information can be found on the IUCN website.

Twinning aquaculture with marine conservation

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is publishing a worldwide collection of case studies that provide concrete illustrations of how aquaculture can be part of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), sharing conservation objectives with the community, while outlining critical issues that should be explored on a case-by-case basis.

Four case studies, which explore four different types of aquaculture in different parts of the world, can be read on the IUCN website.

Welsh Marine Spatial Planning Storyboards

The Welsh Government have published online storyboard-style environmental mapping and evidence packages for the tidal stream, wave energy and aquaculture sectors. 

For each focus sector, the storyboards present mapping of natural resources and environmental opportunities and associated sensitivities, alongside key ecological considerations. They also provide contextual information on relevant policy, legislation and sources of guidance and an overview of consenting and key consents and environmental assessments relevant to the sector.

The storyboards are available on the Welsh Government website.

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Consultation Reports

i-VMS for England’s under-12m fishing vessels

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has launched a programme to identify tracking devices that meet its technical specifications for monitoring location, speed and heading of under-12m fishing vessels.

Suppliers have been invited to submit their products and technologies for assessment so that fishers will have a range of I-VMS devices to choose from before it becomes a legal requirement for them to carry a functioning monitoring unit onboard in 2022.

Further information on the i-VMS programme can be found on the Government website.

Environment Agency (EA) Championing Coastal Coordination Funding

Expressions of Interest ae being sort for the EA’s Championing Coastal Coordination (3Cs) funding. There are three themes:

  • Coordinating planning and delivery of locally owned plans and place-based initiatives
  • Coastal champions to strengthen capacity and capability in local stewardship
  • Restoration and recovery of natural habitats

Applicants need to be charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institutions. Deadline for application is 30 September 2021. For further information and application forms, please contact


  • 30 September 2021: Defra consultation on MPA compensation guidance.
  • 10 October 2021: DAERA (Northern Ireland) consultation on the third cycle river basin management plan 2021 to 2027.
  • 20 October 2021: Scottish Government consultation on Innovation and Targeted Oil and Gas decarbonisation Offshore Wind Sectoral Marine Plan Areas of Search.


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