(The Defra and MMO marine fisheries newsletter)
Managing commercial fishing
Natural England, JNCC, MMO and IFCA have jointly produced a risk matrix which sets a timetable to introduce management measures to protect SAC’s and SPA’s
By the end of 2013 the MMO and IFCAs had nine byelaws in place protecting sites . They expect to confirm seven more by 31 March 2014 so that all the sites where commercial fishing activities were rated as high risk of damaging sensitive features will have management measures in place. All sites should have appropriate protection by December 2016.
As marine planning for the South continues, a range of information is being gathered on fishing to make sure the industry is fully represented. A revised version of the South Plans Analytical
Report (SPAR) will be published soon. Reports on fishing along the South coast of England have also now been published by the MMO. They cover future trends in fishing, the potential for aquaculture and identifying essential fish habitats, and will ensure fishing is fully considered in the South marine plans.
Minister George Eustice says “ It is essential that the right management measures are designed and put in place for MCZs”. He recognises the value of the local advice received from IFCA.
IFCA are preparing to consult on the further round of MCZs at start of 2015.
Common Fisheries Policy
The reformation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and the Common Market Organisation (CMO) was successfully concluded in December 2013, with new regulations entering into force on 1 January 2014.
The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EFF) aims to help the fishing industry to become more sustainable and to remain profitable. Through this scheme around £38 million is available in England and will, as a package, represent significant positive change to the way our fisheries are managed.
A number of the measures and processes contained within the reform are now in force. These include the new legal obligation to ensure that fishing rates are set at levels that restore and maintain populations of harvested species above levels that can produce the maximum sustainable yield (MSY), as well as provisions on regionalisation that enable member states to co-operate on the design of fisheries management measures.