Saturday, 24 October 2020

Casting into the future of UK fisheries after Brexit

With the weather over the next few days forcing boats to tie up here's a chance to see and hear an informed view of where Brexit could take the fishing industry after January 1st 2021.  This talk from Bryce Stewart amounts to four years of input from commercial fishermen, producer organisations, fish merchants and processors, fishery scientists, NGOs and others.

Sit back, turn up the volume and hear how the fishing and Brexit story steers a course through uncharted waters.

The momentous decision by the UK in 2016 to leave the EU was met with celebration by many in the fishing industry. However, since then the reality and complexity of the UK’s situation has become apparent, exemplified by the fact that four years later, UK fisheries are still managed by the EU.

Nevertheless, UK fisheries management will eventually be reformed through Brexit and this offers an opportunity for greater ambition, for sustainability to take centre stage, and for longer-term thinking. Over the past four years, Bryce Stewart a Marine Ecologist and Fisheries Biologist, has been exploring how this might be achieved by extensively engaging with stakeholders and decision makers. While the developing legislation looks promising, ensuring its effective implementation, and establishing a solid agreement with the EU, is paramount if the UK fishing industry is to have a sustainable and prosperous future.

Bryce is a marine ecologist and fisheries biologist whose work has ranged from temperate estuaries to tropical coral reefs and the deep-sea. The central thread in his research has been to gain an increased understanding of the factors regulating marine populations and communities so as to ensure their sustainable utilisation. 

Recently, his focus has been on how to improve the management of fisheries and marine ecosystems by using predictive models, marine protected areas and by reducing discards. Since 2016 he has been particularly involved with assessing the effects of Brexit on UK fisheries and the marine environment, and helping to plan for future reform of management by working with a wide range of stakeholders and the Governments.