In June 2019, the project steering group released the conference report and an action plan setting out a programme of work for the next 12-18 months. Read the latest update on the project in full here.
Project timeline and overview
The Future of Our Inshore Fisheries steering group was established in January 2019 to bring together the inshore sector and government to address current issues in the sector and consider possible solutions to improve inshore fisheries management.
They convened an Issues and Ideas Workshop in June 2019 as an opportunity for all parties to come together to discuss the issues affecting inshore fisheries, establish common ground and identify the problems that need to be addressed.
A milestone conference
In October 2019, almost sixty active inshore fishermen came together with industry leaders, policy makers, regulators, researchers and representatives from environmental groups at a two-day conference.
Attendees heard examples of fisheries management solutions and best practice from around the world and considered their relevance to the UK’s inshore fisheries. The expertise and experience of the active inshore fishermen present set the priorities for the project’s next phase.
A number of companies and organisations from across the seafood supply chain demonstrated their support for the project by providing bursaries to cover out-of-pocket expenses incurred by working fishermen attending.
The way forward
In June 2020 the steering group published the conference report which detailed the conference presentations, the findings from group discussion sessions and the results of live polling. The report concludes by recognising that the scale of change which is wanted and needed is significant, and that developing and implementing solutions will take time.
Based on the priority areas identified by conference participants and the findings of the report, the steering group identified five themes that will shape future work:
- collaborative science
- credible fisheries management
- rights and access
- effective compliance.
The action plan is the first attempt to set out clear, deliverable actions across these themes that will be progressed over the next 12–18 months, from policy provisions to a series of pilot studies.
The project will also act as a focal point for a range of wider initiatives taking place across government and industry that will ultimately contribute to improved fisheries management.
Informed by inshore fishermen
From attendance at the conference and representation on the steering group to participation in pilot studies, the experience and expertise of active inshore fishermen continues to inform the project every step of the way.