What’s been happening with inshore fisheries management this autumn

On World Fisheries Day our Head of Fisheries Management shares an update on recent work undertaken through Future of Our Inshore Fisheries.

World Fisheries Day takes place annually on 21 November. It focuses on the importance of supporting fishing communities across the globe and maintaining the world’s fisheries for generations to come.

When decisions are being made about the management of fish stocks, it’s vital that local fishers have their voices are heard alongside wider stakeholders. This collaborative focus has been at the heart of Future of our Inshore Fisheries (FOIF), an industry-led project with the long-term aim of transforming how inshore fisheries are managed. It brings together active fishermen, industry leaders, policy makers and researchers to share knowledge and lay the foundations for an effective fisheries management system in the UK.

Work on FOIF has been progressing since the kick of conference back in 2019. Here are some updates on the latest activity being delivered this autumn.

FOIF logo with fishing gear in the background

Stakeholder engagement on shellfish Fisheries Management Plans gets underway 

Fisheries Management Plans (FMPs) are evidence-based action plans which set out measures and objectives for keeping stocks at sustainable levels, or restoring them to sustainable levels where needed. They also detail how fishing is managed, by stock, fishery, or location. FMPs are a new approach to fisheries management in the UK and need stakeholders involvement throughout.

Six frontrunner FMPs are currently being developed. We are working on FMPs for crab, lobster and whelk fisheries in English waters. This work is being co-ordinated through FOIF industry-led advisory groups – the Shellfish Industry Advisory Group, Crab and Lobster Management Group and the Whelk Management Group.

As part of the development process we’re running a roadshow of stakeholder engagement events. A programme of online and in-person events is underway with meetings taking place up until mid-December. We strongly encourage anyone with an interest in these fisheries to attend an engagement event as this is your opportunity to contribute to work that will help improve the management of our crab, lobster and whelk fisheries.

Finfish Industry Advisory Group meeting provides updates on work 

The third meeting of the Finfish Industry Advisory Group (FIAG) was held on 18 October 2022, with interesting debate and discussion around a range of topics. 

The session opened with information from Defra regarding the ongoing consultation on managing flyseine vessel pressure on demersal non-quota species.  

The meeting also covered work on finfish FMPs. Three frontrunner plans are currently being developed, all of which have a non-quota species element to them. Delivery leads provided updates on FMPs in development for: 

  • Bass in English and Welsh waters;  
  • Channel non-quota demersal species;  
  • Southern North Sea and eastern Channel mixed flatfish  

The session closed with information on the ICES advice for spurdog in 2023-24. Gwladys Lambert from Cefas and Fishing Into the Future’s Emma Plotnek shared interesting presentations about the species. 

The FIAG continues to grow and new members are always welcome.  

Find out more

More information about FOIF is available on our website from the link below: 

Information on what Fisheries Management Plans (FMPs) are, which plans we are helping to develop and opportunities for stakeholder engagement is available on our website from the link below:

Information on industry-led groups supporting fisheries management is available on our website from the links below: 

Further information

For further information, please contact my colleague Oscar Wilkie, email oscar.wilkie@seafish.co.uk.