Fishing and Seafood

BassBass by Paul Naylor

The UK Marine Act brings in a new approach to managing inshore fisheries in England and Wales. It’s one that recognises the impacts fishing can have – not just on fish stocks but also on the wider environment.

Fishing is particularly important to many coastal communities around Wales and many Wildlife Trusts have developed a good working relationship with local fishermen.

Common Fisheries Policy

The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), is European legislation that governs fishing activity in Europe and to safeguard fish stocks across the EU. It is widely agreed to have failed to prevent overfishing and to manage our fisheries in a sustainable way.

Greater effort is now needed to catch fewer and smaller fish, techniques to catch fish can result in a great deal of bycatch and a number of fish stocks are fished beyond limits recommended by scientists resulting in overfishing.

However, January 2014 saw the reform of the CFP. MEPs from the Fisheries Committee voted in policies that should lead European fish stocks towards a more sustainable future, including the agreement of a ban on discards which will promote more selective fishing methods, legal requirements to prevent overfishing meaning that fisheries are only fished below or to the Maximum Sustainable Yield (the level at which maximises fisheries catches but allows for stocks to recover), and management plans for all fisheries. The Welsh Government has used this change in the CFP to affect change to domestic legislation to safeguard commercially important stocks such as crustaceans and seabass.