Mike Cohen – NFFO Chairman - Personal remarks to the NFFO AGM, held this year in London in Fishmongers Hall
In just a few minutes I cease not only to be the Chairman of the NFFO, but also - for the time being,…
The NFFO is to hold a major summit focused on the future direction of shellfish policy. The meeting which will involve shell-fishermen from all sectors and all parts of the coast, along with DEFRA policy officials, assessment scientists, fisheries managers and a range of invited guests, will be held in Greenwich, London on 14th October.
NFFO Chairman, Tony Delahunty, himself an under-10m shell-fisherman on the South Coast, commented:
"Our crab and lobster fisheries remain in a good place. By and large, we have avoided the problems faced by the whitefish sector over the last decade. But this is not a time to be complacent. The sector faces real challenges and it is vital that fishermen have a say in the direction that government policy takes from here on in.”
“Scientific stock assessments will be an important driver for policy in the future so the quality of those assessments will be paramount. There is also a latent capacity issue that has the potential to undermine any and all management measures if left unaddressed. How do we keep small-scale shell-fisheries open to new entrants, whilst keeping a lid on overall capacity? How do we keep flexibility whilst limiting access? What is the right balance between technical measures and curbs on the amount of gear? What is practicable and workable? How will marine protected areas affect the shell-fish sector in coming years? These are some of the key questions that our sector have to face up to and the summit is intended to allow all views to be expressed."
"The format of having fishermen, science and policy specialists in one room to thrash out the issues is a tried and tested approach, which has the potential to inform policy in a very direct and effective way. Our aim is to have every part of the coast and every fleet segment represented. This is a meeting for both small boat fishermen, the high-volume part of the industry and everyone in between."
"It is our intention to update the meeting with the latest science and policy developments as a foundation for developing the industry's own views on the way forward from here. We aim to make this the can't miss event of the decade in shellfish policy."
Further details of the event including booking instructions can be found on the Shellfish Committee page.