Developing a participatory approach to the management of fishing activity in UK offshore Marine Protected Areas
Successfully involving the fishing sector and stakeholders in decision-making over the…
At the NFFO’s AGM, Fisheries Minister Jonathan Shaw was told that the Government’s plans for a network of conservation zones, some of which could prohibit fishing were forging ahead without consultation with the fishing industry. The restricted areas are timetabled to begin from 2012 but there has been next to no discussion with the people who would be most profoundly affected.
“This is deeply unsatisfactory” said NFFO Chairman Davey Hill, “If the Government is determined to introduce marine conservation zones the very least it must do is establish a strong dialogue with fishermen over where these areas are sited, how big they are, how the displaced effort is to be dealt with.”
“We know that Natural England and JNCC are doing to identify these sites but it all seems cloaked in secrecy.
“Our AGM performed at least one important function this year and that was to secure the Minister’s solid guarantee that this issue would be more open and transparent than it has been to date. A meeting will now be chaired by the Minister that will open up the process to scrutiny. This is fishermen’s livelihoods that are at stake and the process so far has been disgraceful.”