The Marine Management Organisation will lead stakeholder engagement and drafting of the Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) for demersal non-quota species (NQS) in the English Channel.
FMPs are a cornerstone of the Government’s approach to fisheries management now the UK has left the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy.
The Channel NQS FMP will include ICES divisions 7d and 7e and will cover demersal species such as red, tub and grey gurnards, cuttlefish, squid, octopus, john dory, surmullet and lesser spotted dogfish.
Development of a plan specifically for demersal non-quota species in the Channel was highlighted by the fishing industry and other key marine stakeholders as a necessary move because of concern about potential over-exploitation of some stocks and a lack of data about non-quota stocks in general.
This FMP is one of 43 FMPs to be developed under the Joint Fisheries Statement to support a sustainable and profitable fishing industry. The Channel NQS FMP will be among the first of six frontrunner FMPs being developed, with an aim to publish the plans at the end of 2023.
MMO is currently working on a series of face-to-face events with stakeholders, especially the fishing industry on England’s south coast, to be held in mid to late June as a critical first step in developing the Channel NQS FMP.
MMO will provide more information on how stakeholders can get involved in the coming weeks in its fortnightly Fishers and Seafood Exporters Bulletin, on its website and social media platforms.