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Sunday 31 March 2024

What are Fisheries Management Plans?

The UK government has responsibilities under international law and is committed to managing our fisheries in a sustainable way. Meeting our responsibilities will support vibrant, profitable, and sustainable fishing industries alongside a healthy and productive marine environment. 

The Fisheries Act 2020 provides the framework to manage our fisheries as an independent coastal state outside of the EU Common Fisheries Policy. The act requires the UK fisheries policy authorities (Defra, and the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) to publish fisheries management plans (FMPs) to help deliver our ambition for sustainable fisheries. 

The Joint Fisheries Statement lists 43 proposed FMPs. Some FMPs will be developed jointly by 2 or more fisheries policy authorities, whilst others will be developed by a single authority for its own waters.

What an FMP is

FMPs are evidence-based action plans, developed in collaboration with the fishing sector and other stakeholders. Their purpose is to deliver sustainable fisheries for current and future generations. 

Each FMP will specify the stocks, type of fishing and the geographic area covered, as well as the authority or authorities responsible and indicators to be used for monitoring the effectiveness of the plan. 

Once published, FMPs will inform a wide range of relevant fisheries management actions. There will not be a ‘one size fits all’ approach to our FMPs – they will be designed according to the specific needs of their stocks, fisheries and location. Therefore, FMPs will vary in their content and format because our fisheries range from stocks whose management is well understood, to complex mixed fisheries with many stocks in whole sea areas.