UK Gear Forum | Seafish

UK Gear Forum

The UK Gear Forum brings together industry, researchers and governments to discuss and advance gear innovations to drive sustainability in fishing.
Fishing gear laid out on pier
The UK Gear Forum focuses on selective gear innovations to support sustainable fishing

UK Gear Forum focus and role

Selective gear innovations have a vital role to play in advancing sustainability in wild capture fisheries. They are also central to the delivery of key fisheries objectives under the Fisheries Act 2020.

The UK Gear Forum has been created to discuss and progress activities to advance sustainability in all static and mobile wild capture fisheries. It aims to facilitate discussion, develop and deliver initiatives to advance sustainability through the lens of selective gear innovations.

The forum operates on a ‘hub and spoke’ model. This involves:

  • Maintaining a helicopter perspective of regional-level projects and initiatives (the spokes)
  • Ensuring that these outputs inform an overall UK-wide collaborative approach (the hub)

Sharing intel, building understanding and developing collaborative partnerships, to bring scale and shared resources to address common sustainability challenges, are a central focus for the Forum. This will support building a UK-wide understanding and communication around what does, or does not work, as well as avoiding duplication of work.

Illustration of Beam Trawl With Benthic Panel
Selective gear innovations have a vital role to play in advancing sustainability in wild capture fisheries

Membership of the UK Gear Forum

The UK Gear Forum brings together stakeholders from across the wild capture supply chain, together with the research community and UK governments. Members include representatives from:

  • fishing associations
  • producers organisations
  • gear technologists
  • research community
  • UK-wide governments

The Forum is chaired by recognised gear technology expert Mike Montgomery and we provide secretariat support.

Photo of Mike Montgomery
The UK Gear Forum is chaired by Mike Montgomery

UK Gear Forum meetings and work programme

The inaugural meeting of the forum was held in July 2022. Going forward it will meet every two to three months.

Working principles for the UK Gear Forum were agreed at its meeting in December 2022. This includes priority work themes:

  1. Advancing the research evidence-base to inform the development of new policy and technical measures.
  2. An operating framework in which fishers are able to demonstrate and deploy more selective fishing gear designs.
  3. Tangible outputs which provide practical solutions to address priority industry challenges and needs.
  4. Timely dissemination of work outputs – and sign-posting to other good practice, including case studies – and in appropriate formats for the intended audiences.
  5. Further development and delivery of fit-for-purpose training resources for fishers and non-fishers.

These themes will inform a work programme to be taken forward by ‘task and finish’ working groups focussed on delivering practical solutions and outcomes.

A copy of the full UK Gear Forum Working Principles is available from the link below:

Further updates on UK Gear Forum work will be added here as projects are agreed and get underway.

Find out more

For queries on the UK Gear Forum please contact:

Dr Stuart McLanaghan
Head of Responsible Sourcing
07815 427631