The SSC calls for clarity and ambition for the future of UK fisheries management

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This week the members of the Sustainable Seafood Coalition submitted a combined response to the Joint Fisheries Statement draft consultation. The coalition took the opportunity to highlight its concerns about the future of UK fisheries management.

The response, submitted by the coalition on behalf of its forty-five stakeholders in the seafood industry, called for:

  • A requirement for catch limits to be set that do not exceed the best available scientific advice;
  • Clear commitments by the UK Government to fully implement Remote Electronic Monitoring (REM) in domestic fisheries;
  • Clarity on how all UK fisheries policy authorities will ensure that fishing activities are managed to enable Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to achieve their conservation objectives;
  • More reactive, real-time fishery management with shorter review cycles for Fishery Management Plans (FMPs).

Read the full SSC response to the JFS consultation here.

The Joint Fisheries Statement is a piece of secondary legislation required by the Fisheries Act 2020. In it, the UK’s four fisheries authorities will set out their approach to fulfilling the eight objectives of the Act.

The SSC’s consultation response follows a letter sent by the SSC to Secretary of State George Eustice on 8 September 2021. In that letter, coalition members highlighted the need for a legal commitment to fishing within sustainable limits, a robust Remote Electronic Monitoring regime, and the responsible management of shared stocks. These principles were not sufficiently enshrined in the Fisheries Bill 2020, but the Joint Fisheries Statement offers an opportunity to ensure that all Fishery Management Plans developed in the UK will comply with key sustainability principles.