Inshore fishing and conservation

Published scientific paper to help determine the most appropriate management of Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s).

Possibly the UK’s most exciting marine conservation outcome of 2013 is the review of fisheries management in Special Areas of Conservation (SAC). SACs are areas that have been given special protection under the European Union’s Habitats Directive. As a result of pressure from marine NGOs, the government is now assessing the impact of individual fishing practice on the marine features designated within SACs. For example, they are determining the impact of scallop dredging in a SAC designated for reef features, or prawn trawling in a SAC designated to protect maerl grass. Based on the precautionary principle, by 2016 new fisheries laws will restrict fishing practices that could impact the health of species and habitats designated in SACs.

Common Seas worked to:

– Recognise where industry, government and NGO relationships and knowledge needed strengthening
– Convene knowledge sharing workshops
– Identify gaps in scientific understanding and co-authored Marine Pollution Bulletin Paper ‘Drawing lines in the sand’.
– Respond to the bye-law consultation process