Fisheries

The Wildlife Trusts around the Irish Sea are working with local fishermen and authorities to encourage responsible fishing techniques which support a healthy marine environment.

Fishing – more than any other human activity – has the potential to cause widespread damage to marine habitats and wildlife. However, if we get it right, wise management of fishing can bring the greatest benefits for wildlife over large areas.

The Marine Acts (Marine and Coastal Access Act (England and Wales) 2009; Marine Act (Northern Ireland) 2013; and Marine (Scotland) Act 2010) have brought in a new approach to managing inshore fisheries, recognising the impacts fishing can have – not just on fish stocks but also on the wider environment. They creates new responsibilities and powers to manage these impacts.

Meanwhile, the EU Common Fisheries Policy, which influences fisheries management throughout UK seas, has undergone a major review. Improvements could make a significant contribution to Living Seas.

Fishing – more than any other human activity – has the potential to cause widespread damage to marine habitats and wildlife. However, if we get it right, wise management of fishing can bring the greatest benefits for wildlife over large areas.

Practical action can be taken to prevent the accidental capture of animals such as dolphins and seabirds, minimise the damage to seabed habitats from heavy fishing gear, reduce impacts on the marine food-web, and ensure target species are not over-fished.

Amid concerns about food security and dwindling wild fish stocks, farming of seafood is likely to increase, so there is also a need to ensure this industry is environmentally sustainable.

We believe that changes afoot now, and in the next few years, could mark the turning point towards a sustainable seafood industry in the UK.

North West England

In working with local fishermen and the North Western Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, the North West Wildlife Trusts (Cumbria; Lancashire, Manchester & North Merseyside; and Cheshire) are helping to advise and review the management of fisheries within Marine Protected Areas in order to promote the need for a healthy marine environment and support healthy fisheries.

South and West Wales

The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales has recently embarked on a new project relating to the fishing industry in Wales. Known as our Future Fisheries the project aims to champion a low impact, profitable fishing industry in Wales whilst securing Living Seas where marine wildlife thrives. Find out more about Future Fisheries here