Government's Post-Brexit plans for fisheries published

Date posted: 25 October 2018

The highly anticipated new Fisheries Bill has been released by Defra today, which sets out how UK fisheries will be managed after we leave the EU.

Fishing boats small
© Jean Luc Solandt

We hope this Bill will pave the way for the UK to become a world leader in fisheries management, synonymous with sustainable ‘green rated’ seafood

Sam Stone,
Head of Fisheries and Aquaculture

In response, Samuel Stone, Head of Fisheries and Aquaculture at the Marine Conservation Society says: “The highly anticipated new Fisheries Bill is critical to setting out how our fisheries, and their impacts on the environment, will be managed after we leave the EU. Initial signs are that DEFRA and the Secretary of State have listened to the public and made sustainability central to their plans. Important sustainability objectives appear to have been included, along with a clear signal of intent to work closely with the devolved governments to apply them. This is what over 19,000 members of the public called for through a recent campaign led by the Marine Conservation Society.”

“We cannot miss the opportunity to make our seas the best managed in the world. This is the time for the UK to demonstrate strong leadership and to show that it can be ambitious and serious about the protection of our seas. We hope that the good intentions of the Bill will be backed up by substance. Effective monitoring of fisheries and the marine environment will be needed, as will resources to implement and enforce this legislation. We hope this Bill will pave the way for the UK to become a world leader in fisheries management, synonymous with sustainable ‘green rated’ seafood”.

Defra says the Bill creates powers to “build a sustainable, profitable UK fishing industry and deliver a Green Brexit with new protections for our precious marine environment”. MCS will be holding governments to account throughout coming months, in the run up to the UK’s exit from the EU in March, to ensure that sustainable, well-managed fisheries will indeed result. Without sustainability at the core of fisheries management decisions, fish stocks in UK waters will not be able to thrive and recover, and therefore will not continue to support livelihoods around the UK.

The Government’s press release about the bill can be viewed on Defra’s website

The full Fisheries Bill will be made publically available later today.

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