Realising the benefits of inshore fisheries

Realising the benefits of inshore fisheries The Future of Our Inshore Fisheries Conference will take place in London on 8-9th October. Photo: QB

Fishermen from across the UK are set to come together with policy makers, regulators and researchers to discuss issues around the management of inshore fisheries and to establish a blueprint for their future management

The Future of Our Inshore Fisheries Conference – which is to take place in London on 8-9th October – was announced at a specially convened workshop today at which members of the Future of Our Inshore Fisheries steering group met with representatives from the inshore industry, government and science community.

Attendees at the workshop, supported by Seafish, heard steering group chair Professor Michel Kaiser, of Heriot-Watt University, announce the conference and call for industry to engage on this important initiative.

“Collaboration between industry, scientists, regulators, UK government and devolved administrations is key to ensuring the future management of our domestic fisheries is sustainable and profitable for all parts of the nation,” commented Fisheries Minister Robert Goodwill.

“I’d like to thank Seafish for their efforts in bringing everyone together and urge fishermen to support this work and play their part in shaping a successful seafood sector for decades to come.”

The project steering group was established in January 2019, with representatives from across the UK industry, government and science communities.

Helping inshore fisheries thrive

“The Future of Our Inshore Fisheries is an ambitious project that looks to transform how we manage these important resources over the medium to long-term, so that we can ensure that our fisheries, our marine environment and our coastal communities are sustainable and thriving,” said steering group chair Professor Michel Kaiser of Heriot-Watt University.

“There are no quick wins here so it is vital that we take the time to understand the issues and challenges that currently exist so that we can build awareness, understanding and consensus amongst all the parties involved in the management of this important marine resource.

"A key focus of the October conference will be to bring all interested parties together, whether that’s small scale fishermen, regulators, the environmental community and researchers, to help shape the blueprint for future management. By working together from the outset we hope to lay the foundations for future collaborative working.”

According to Jim Pettipher, Chief Executive of the Coastal Producer Organisation, it is vital for the inshore sector to be managed in a way which allows the benefits these fisheries offer to be realised.

“From the formation of the steering group to today’s workshop, industry has been involved in every step of this process to establish a way forward,” he said.

NFFO Chief Executive Barrie Deas commented that the conference provides a unique opportunity to establish a bespoke fisheries management regime for the UK that recognises and explicitly responds to the potential value that the inshore fisheries sector can contribute.

“I would encourage inshore fishermen to take this opportunity to be part of creating this blueprint for the future management of our fisheries by engaging through the steering group and by attending the Future of Our Inshore Fisheries conference in October,” he said.

Inshore initiative

“Seafish is pleased to be part of this important initiative,” said Aoife Martin, Director of Operations at Seafish.

“Our unique role across the UK seafood sector means we are perfectly placed to facilitate and support people to come together to work on solutions to improve the management of our local fisheries. The October conference will provide an opportunity for participants to look at examples of best practice, from the UK and beyond, and to consider how we wish to responsibly manage our fisheries so that we can continue to support a truly thriving seafood sector.”

Registration for the conference – to be held at the Leonardo Royal Hotel at Tower Bridge in London on 8-9th October 2019 and free to attend - is open now.  Visit the Seafish website for further details and to register

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