Future of Our Inshore Fisheries

An industry-led project with the long-term aim of transforming how inshore fisheries are managed.

Future of Our Inshore Fisheries (FOIF) brings active fisherman and industry leaders together with policy makers, regulators and academics. It aims to ensure that our inshore fisheries are managed to deliver a viable and profitable inshore fishing industry that supports flourishing coastal communities.

Action plan and way forward

In June 2020, the project steering group released the conference report and an action plan setting out a programme of work for the next 12 to 18 months.

The conference report details the conference presentations, the findings from group discussion sessions and the results of live polling. The report concludes by recognising that the scale of change which is wanted and needed is significant, and that developing and implementing solutions will take time.

Based on the priority areas identified by conference participants and the findings of the report, the steering group identified five themes that will shape future work:

  • co-management
  • collaborative science
  • credible fisheries management
  • rights and access
  • effective compliance.

The action plan is the first attempt to set out clear, deliverable actions across these themes that will be progressed over the next 12–18 months, from policy provisions to a series of pilot studies.

The project will also act as a focal point for a range of wider initiatives taking place across government and industry that will ultimately contribute to improved fisheries management.

Timeline and overview

The Future of Our Inshore Fisheries steering group was established in January 2019 to bring together the inshore sector and government to address current issues in the sector and consider possible solutions to improve inshore fisheries management. 

They convened an Issues and Ideas Workshop in June 2019 as an opportunity for all parties to come together to discuss the issues affecting inshore fisheries, establish common ground and identify the problems that need to be addressed.

In October 2019, almost sixty active inshore fishermen came together with industry leaders, policy makers, regulators, researchers and representatives from environmental groups at a milestone two-day conference.

Attendees heard examples of fisheries management solutions and best practice from around the world and considered their relevance to the UK’s inshore fisheries. The expertise and experience of the active inshore fishermen present set the priorities for the project’s next phase.

A number of companies and organisations from across the seafood supply chain demonstrated their support for the project by providing bursaries to cover out-of-pocket expenses incurred by working fishermen attending. 

From attendance at the conference and representation on the steering group to participation in pilot studies, the experience and expertise of active inshore fishermen continues to inform the project every step of the way.

Project steering group

  • Aubrey Banfield, Inshore Fisherman, Dorset
  • Ned Clark, Inshore Fisherman, North Shields
  • Robert Clark, Association of Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (Association of IFCAs)
  • Barrie Deas, National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations (NFFO)
  • Joel Dunn, Inshore Fisherman, Plymouth
  • Jim Evans, Welsh Fisherman’s Association (WFA)
  • Alison Freeman, The Fishmongers' Company
  • Anne Freeman, DEFRA
  • Richard Hoskin, Marine Management Organisation (MMO)
  • Alasdair Hughson, Inshore Fisherman, Kyleakin
  • Professor Michel Kaiser, Heriot Watt University (Steering group chair)
  • James Kelly, Inshore Fisherman, Portavogie
  • Aoife Martin, Seafish
  • Phil McBryde, DEFRA
  • Alan McCulla, Anglo-North Irish Fish Producers Organisation (ANIFPO)
  • Dr. Carl O’Brien, CEFAS
  • Mike Park, Scottish White Fish Producers Association (SWFPA)
  • Brackan Pearce, Inshore Fisherman, Newlyn
  • Jerry Percy, New Under Ten Fishermen's Association Ltd (NUTFA)
  • Nicola Robinson, DEFRA
  • Paul Trebilcock, Cornish Fish Producers’ Organisation (CFPO)
  • Claire Vincent, DAERA
  • Len Walters, Inshore Fisherman, Cardigan
  • Neil Whitney, Inshore Fisherman, Eastbourne
  • Elaine Whyte, Clyde Fishermen’s Association

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