Friday, 24 June 2022

The Cornish Fish Producers' Organisation June 2022 Newsletter

 

The Cornish Fish

Producers'Organisation

June 2022 Newsletter
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Dear member,

We’re more than six months into 2022 and it's been a tumultuous first half of the year, with countless global challenges impacting our industry, primarily the ever-increasing price of fuel. However, we’re now beginning to embark on a new era of fisheries management opportunities, with the six front-runner Fisheries Management Plans (FMP) beginning to consult with the industry. Co-management seems to be the buzzword, as policy, science and industry set out to develop new plans for a range of fish and shellfish species. Given the early stages of this work, it’s a very important time to engage in these discussions and raise key priorities in order to steer the plans in the right direction from the outset. 

To supplement this work, the CFPO has been collaborating with a Fisheries Industry Science Partnership (FISP) project, funded by the £100m UK Seafood Fund, focusing on the mixed fishery in the Celtic Sea. The partnership includes the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) and other POs, and will begin to build necessary evidence across a range of species for future management.

Safety and the introduction of the new Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) under-15m vessel code has been a challenge for some throughout recent months, with stability becoming one of the main focus points for the MCA. With these changes, it is welcomed timing that the NFFO has successfully recruited Charles Blyth as their new Risk, Safety and Training Lead. Charles is an ex-MCA surveyor, so brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the industry. You can expect more information on this initiative, as well as other live projects, fisheries management plans, finance support and safety announcements within this update. 

Contents
  1. Fisheries management
  2. Current projects and industry news
  3. Safety and wellbeing
  4. Finance and grant funding
  5. Marketing
  6. Fathom Podcast
Fisheries management
Fisheries Management Plans (FMPs)

Progress is being made on how the future of UK fisheries management will take shape. The DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)-led Joint Fisheries Statement (JFS) consultation ran throughout the early part of 2022 (see the CFPO digest here, and the CFPO consultation response here). The JFS sets out the framework for a range of fisheries management plans, which will eventually replace retained EU legislation. 

The first species that are set for management plans are sea bass, scallops, crab and lobster, whelks and Non-Quota Species for the English Channel (VIID & E). This is an interesting time and we are committed to ensuring that the industry will have a say under the ‘co-management’ concept. 

As a member, you may have seen communications on the bass FMP and Non Quota Species in recent weeks, as well as crab management workshops across the South West. With more outreach planned to continue developing these plans, we encourage you to engage where appropriate. 

Bass

As part of the early stages of the consultation, DEFRA is calling for individuals and groups with an interest in bass to fill in an expression of interest form. Please pass this link on to others who might be interested. The next step within this plan is a series of in-person meetings taking place this summer in various locations on the coast. These meetings will be open to the industry and will provide an opportunity for early input that will help shape future management. Look out for communications on the dates and locations of these meetings.   

Crab and lobster

Project UK recently ran a series of crab management workshops across the South West. It was encouraging to see members sharing their experiences and feeding into the very early stages of future management. 

Non Quota Species in the English Channel (ICES areas VIID and VIIE) 

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is coordinating this specific management plan and has already embarked on some regional workshops to gather thoughts and ideas. There will be plenty more opportunities to engage with this, so please register your interest by emailing the MMO at FMP@marinemanagement.org.uk

You can also sign up here to take part in the MMO’s quarterly Regional Fisheries Group meetings that cover a broad range of issues across the South West.

Current projects and industry news

Fuel

Soaring fuel prices due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict is having a severe impact across the fleet, only slightly offset by the higher than normal fish prices we are experiencing. This is a fragile model to survive on, and one that is presenting significant challenges with no easy solution on the table. The CFPO has been engaging with other POs in the South West and has written a joint letter to the Fisheries Minister. The impact of rising fuel costs has also been raised by the NFFO. Please be assured that we will continue to highlight the impact this is having and seek support to help the industry get through this turbulent time. 


Fisheries Industry Science Partnership (FISP) 

The CFPO has been successful, along with other POs in the South West and CEFAS, in obtaining funding to develop detailed projects that address some of the science and data needs for the mixed fishery in the Celtic Sea. This is a critical area of work as we start to build a scientific evidence base to help support FMPs and shape future fisheries management decisions.

This work is financed by the £100m UK Seafood Fund and will enable collaborative working between industry and science in designing detailed research proposals to address some of the challenges. Priority species that will feature in the FISP will be spurdog, bass, small-eyed ray, as well stock identity study for sole and plaice between ICES areas VIIH and VIIE.

If you have any thoughts on other projects please contact the office 01736 351050 or email Chris at chris@cfpo.org.uk 


Floating offshore wind - virtual planning process with the Crown Estate and NFFO

The UK government has set the target of meeting 60% of the offshore wind supply from within the UK by 2030. As the UK Government’s energy security strategy looks to the Celtic Sea as the new source of renewable energy using floating offshore wind, competing for space will be a significant challenge going forward. We are taking every opportunity to position the importance of fishing and seafood as a key part of our nation’s food security. 

The CFPO recently took part in two events in Newlyn with The Crown Estate, NFFO and various energy developers. The events focused on static and mobile gears and offered positive dialogue between the industry and energy developers on how best to find a way to co-exist. 

Inshore Vessel Monitoring Systems (I-VMS)

Regarding compliance and traceability, you will all be aware of this year’s roll-out of Inshore Vessel Monitoring Systems (I-VMS) for under-12m vessels. There are deadlines approaching for this (see below), and grants are available via the MMO to help cover the initial purchase costs. Further information can be found via the MMO’s One Stop Shop for I-VMS


Safety and wellbeing

The impact of the MCA’s new under-15m fishing vessel code has been felt in the last six months. The industry has had to get to grips with significant changes and this has no doubt been a stressful experience for some vessel owners. The CFPO has been communicating the main issues members have been experiencing via the NFFO Safety Committee, as well as directly to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and local MP’s during a recent meeting in Newlyn. 

Also, Clive Palfrey from Seafood Cornwall Training has been very active on the quayside, answering queries and trying to smooth the process as best possible for those that are experiencing challenges. 

The news of the NFFO taking on Charles Blyth as their new Risk, Safety and Training Lead was most welcome. Charles is an ex-MCA surveyor and will be working with the industry, on the quayside with individual members as well as at the national level with Government agencies, to help improve overall safety. We look forward to working with Charles in the future, as well as partnering with Clive from Seafood Cornwall Training to support members in complying with all health and safety measures. 

Charles will be visiting fishing communities around the coast, so do get in contact via the CFPO office if you are seeking support on any safety matters. 

Finance and grant funding

With both the £100m UK Seafood Fund and the MMO’s Fisheries and Seafood Scheme (FaSS) running side by side, there is plenty of scope to develop a wide range of projects, be it safety, training, science, adding value, marketing or shore based infrastructure. 

If you have any thoughts or would like to chat about what support is available, please contact the office 01736 351050 or email Chris at chris@cfpo.org.uk 

Marketing

Seafood Cornwall

Seafood Cornwall, the marketing arm of the CFPO, has had a busy six months following successful domestic marketing and communications campaigns during 2020/21, the main focusing being to communicate and educate domestic consumers on the diversity and seasonality of fish and shellfish caught in Cornwall. 

Fuelled by increased domestic demand for local seafood during the Covid lockdowns, Seafood Cornwall has built a range of digital platforms and content to continue to engage and develop this newfound market and promote the diversity of local species, catch methods, fishermen and Cornish communities. Go to seafoodcornwall.org.uk to find out more.

Fathom podcast

The second Fathom podcast episode in our ‘All About That Bass’ series features Lewis White and Robbie Fisher from DEFRA, who provide some inside insights into the upcoming bass FMP.  They explain why bass was chosen as a front-runner for this FMP, given its importance to the industry and the progress needed in updating current rule, and highlight the many pathways to involvement in the consultation process.

They were eager to note that the overarching principle behind the engagement was that it would be an open process. You can register your interest in the consultation here, and you can also email Policy Lab at: bass@policylab.gov.uk to find out more. 

Tune in to the whole episode to learn more about the consultation for the FMP: what will be in it, who will be a part of the process, when it will be ready and how it will all work! Listen here.

As ever, Fathom is the podcast for the UK fishing industry. We have been successful with securing grant funding from the Seafarers’ Charity to continue delivering Fathom for 2022/23, so if you have any suggestions for topics you’d like us to explore then send a WhatsApp message or voice note to Fathom on 07542556276.

As ever, the CFPO is here to support you. You can reach Chris via email at chris@cfpo.org.uk or call the office on 01736 351050.