HPMA Selection Process Rigged to Harm Fishing Communities
19 July 2021
The government’s process to select Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) needs a rethink. It is deliberately relegating human use issues to a second tier to be considered only once sites have been identified exclusively based on a set of ecological criteria. Instead, it should prioritise the search for sites that fulfil ecological criteria in areas where there are synergies with existing human uses of the marine environment.
Sledgehammer to Fishing in MPAs
1 February 2021
In a shocking development, the Marine Management Organisation has announced that it intends to ban all forms of towed bottom gears in the Dogger Bank SAC and the majority of three other offshore MPAs. The knock-on effects of this brutal approach will not stay confined to MPAs as fishing activity is displaced from its customary areas. The decision has been taken with zero discussion with those affected.
Government Panel Eyes No Fishing Zones Despite Existing World-Beating UK Marine Protected Area Network
8 June 2020
The government-sponsored Benyon Review, and its all-out advocacy for banning fishing in a new set of areas referred to as Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs), comes as a hammer blow for fishing communities having to cope with the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic and the uncertainties of the Brexit negotiations. This is despite Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) already comprising 40% of the total area of English waters, with a swathe of 41 sites being designated only last year.
Developing a participatory approach to the management of fishing activity in UK offshore Marine Protected Areas
14 May 2020
Successfully involving the fishing sector and stakeholders in decision-making over the management of fisheries in marine protected areas (MPAs) is important to their overall effectiveness and sustainable management of our seas. The results of a new project including new tools and approaches to use when establishing, evaluating and adapting fisheries management measures in MPAs aims to help achieve just that.
Serious Risk of Under-fishing
9 October 2017
A group of international scientists is currently looking into whether the fisheries in our waters are now seriously under-fished, forgoing landings amounting to something in the region of 5% of the global catch of wild fish. Dr Henrik Sparholt, who for many years held a senior position within ICES, recently presented an outline of a research project to understand this development with more precision, to a meeting of the Executive Committee of the North Sea Advisory Council.
Bolder Management of Spurdog Recovery Vital
21 July 2017
The latest scientific advice on spurdog points to the reintroduction of a bycatch allowance as the most sensible management strategy to recover the stock. This would prevent the needless discarding of dead catch, remove an incentive to retain smooth hound as substitution, and restore the evidence base generated by the fishing fleet that underpins management decision-making.
Irish Sea Turnaround
11 July 2017
“I told you so” is rarely an attractive phrase. But it is difficult to avoid a tone of grim smugness when speaking about the 375% TAC increase in this year’s scientific advice for Irish Sea cod. So long regarded as a basket case, ICES has dramatically revised its perception of the stock and altered the assumptions that support its model. The advice has shifted from a zero catch in 2012, and a minimal bycatch in 2016, to a healthy allocation in 2018, with the stock considered to be above maximum sustainable yield trigger.
Economics and Fishing Policy
12 February 2016
The Common Fisheries Policy has to date been driven almost exclusively by conservation priorities. The time has come to think about how to integrate economic thinking into CFP policy, to better achieve the principal objectives of the CFP. These are to ensure that fishing activities are environmentally sustainable in the long term and consistent with the objectives of achieving economic, social and employment benefits, and of contributing to the availability of food supplies.” (Article 2.1 of the CFP Basic Regulation. 1380/2013)
New research to aid sustainable fisheries management in Marine Protected Areas
20 January 2016
Scientists now have a better understanding of the level of fishing activity that can be carried out within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and still remain compatible with conservation objectives thanks to new research.
Who’s to Blame for Landing the Blame?
7 December 2015
In an open letter to the New Economics Foundation, the NFFO has challenged its misguided campaign, “Landing the Blame”, for failing to account for the range of scientific advice that must inform ministers’ decisions on TACs at the December Council.