Fisheries Management Plans (FMPs) | Seafish

Fisheries Management Plans (FMPs)

Information on what Fisheries Management Plans (FMPs) are, which plans we are helping to develop and opportunities for stakeholder engagement.

Introduction to FMPs

FMPs are evidence-based action plans, developed with input from industry and other stakeholders. They set out a range of policies that detail how fishing is managed, by stock, fishery, or location. FMPs are based on the best available science, fisher experience, and policy objectives through participation of key stakeholders.  

The UK Fisheries Act 2020 placed FMPs as the main tool for reforming UK fisheries management.

Read more about fisheries management plans policy information via the link below:

Responsibility for developing FMPs across the UK sits with the following authorities: 

  • In England – Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra)  
  • In Northern Ireland – Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) 
  • In Scotland – Marine Directorate  
  • In Wales – Welsh Government  

FMPs will be monitored, reviewed and adapted as necessary to ensure they are fit for purpose. Effectiveness will be reported on every three years, and plans will be reviewed fully every six years.

Reports will note progress on the implementation of FMP policies and their effects on sea fish stock levels in the UK. 

Published FMPs

In December 2023 the following FMPs for English waters were published: 

  • Crab and lobster  
  • Whelk  
  • Bass 
  • Channel demersal non-quota species  
  • King scallop 

Seafish was the delivery lead for the crab and lobster FMP and the whelk FMP, and drafted these plans in association with the Crab & Lobster Management Group and Whelk Management Group respectively.  

More information can be found on the government website - Fisheries management plans: policy information.

Collage showing scallops shells, lobster on slate, crab on ice and pile of whelks
Scallops, lobster, crab and whelks are species covered in frontrunner FMPs

North Sea and West Coast of Scotland Nephrops FMPs

Seafish has been commissioned by the Scottish Marine Directorate as the delivery lead on two Nephrops FMPs, covering the North Sea (ICES area 4) and the West Coast of Scotland (ICES area 6). 

These plans will be published by the end of 2024 in line with the Fisheries Act 2020 and as set out in the Joint Fisheries Statement.  

Seafish will be undertaking evidence gathering, stakeholder engagement activities, as well as drafting and delivering both the Nephrops FMPs to the Marine Directorate. 

As part of the stakeholder engagement, we will be hosting in-person and online events around the coast of Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland in ports where Nephrops are an important part of fishermen’s catches. Seafish will set up and facilitate industry-led steering groups to help develop management objectives.  

Contact our Fisheries Management team

If you have a query about our work on FMPs, please contact our Fisheries Management team by emailing