The UK government’s Joint Fisheries Statement Policy Paper
The UK government has published their policy paper on the Joint Fisheries Statement, setting out the policies for achieving the eight fisheries objectives in the Fisheries Act 2020.
The government hopes that it will ensure the delivery of a thriving, sustainable fishing industry and healthy marine environment.
In January 2022, the UK’s fisheries policy authorities launched a 12-week consultation inviting views from industry, non-governmental organisations and all those affected by the policies in the draft Joint Fisheries Statement.
The UK fisheries policy authorities (the UK government, Scottish Government, Welsh Government and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland) have collaborated to produce a Joint Fisheries Statement (JFS), which arises from a legal requirement in Section 2 of the Fisheries Act 2020. The JFS sets out the policies of the fisheries policy authorities for achieving, or contributing to the achievement of, the Act’s eight fisheries objectives and forms part of the UK Fisheries Management and Support Framework (the Fisheries Framework). The JFS sets out the ambition of the UK to continue delivering world class, sustainable management of fisheries in line with those objectives and how it will do so.
The JFS defines how the fisheries policy authorities have understood the fisheries objectives and how we will apply them to fisheries policy. We have also identified through the document where each of the objectives applies to any given policy, noting that, due to the inter-linked nature of the objectives, one policy will often address several objectives.
The report says:
“The JFS recognises the importance of fishing, recreational sea fishing and aquaculture to the UK and many of our coastal communities. It highlights the importance of working with the catching and processing sectors, along with their supply chains, on succession planning, training, access to domestic labour, and fair remuneration to encourage new entrants. The fisheries policy authorities commit to promoting the consumption of locally sourced seafood as a healthy, high-quality protein source, and to supporting prosperous and resilient UK and international markets. The JFS also commits the fisheries policy authorities to supporting the health, safety and well-being of those working in the seafood sector, particularly when at sea.”