A small delegation from the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations met recently (remotely) with Chief Negotiator, David Frost. The meeting took place ahead of five weeks of intensive negotiations designed to put momentum back into efforts to reach a deal on the future UK/EU relationship.
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The latest version of the FishSAFE unit, the essential safety information tool for fishermen working near offshore oil and gas infrastructure in the UK Continental Shelf, is now available.
As the Fisheries Bill passes through the House of Lords, amendments have been laid down that would make CCTV cameras aboard all fishing vessels mandatory. The NFFO provides its view.
One of the benefits of leaving the Common Fisheries Policy will be the potential to rethink and redesign the landing obligation. Initially the industry will continue to work under EU retained law, but after 1st January there will be scope to redesign and implement new arrangements tailored to the conditions in UK fisheries. Both Defra and the NFFO have begun work to identify deficiencies in the EU landing obligation and how these could be addressed to inform a more effective and workable UK discard policy. The contents of this paper were discussed at a recent Defra/MMO/NFFO landing obligation forum.
Government Panel Eyes No Fishing Zones Despite Existing World-Beating UK Marine Protected Area Network
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.
The delayed report from the Conference on the Future of Inshore Fisheries has been published along with an outline of how the conference conclusions will be taken forward.
The NFFO, with the support of Nathan de Rozarieux and the Fishmongers Company, has produced guidance to help different types of fishing vessel undertake Covid-19 risk assessments.
Some parts of the UK fleet have been able to fish on through the coronavirus emergency, bringing food to tables during a time when the crisis was at its worst. Other vessels have seen their markets disappear completely and have had no option but to tie up. Whatever their current situation, vessels going back to sea or continuing to fish, will face a new set of challenges relating to how they might operate in a world in which a second surge in the pandemic is an ongoing threat.
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 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.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on merchant seafarers, fishers and their families, the Seafarers UK charity has created a new Seafarers UK COVID-19 Emergency Fund of £2million, with £500,000 immediately allocated to assist fishing communities across Britain.