An international team of scientists have produced new recommendations to help ensure a more sustainable future for UK fisheries in the post-Brexit era.
Despite many representatives of the UK fishing industry being disappointed with the Brexit deal on fisheries, new UK fisheries legislation provides the opportunity to dramatically improve its future sustainability.
A research team, including the Universities of York, Southampton, Lincoln, Exeter, Dalhousie, and the New Economics Foundation, provided international perspectives in natural resource management, fisheries, marine conservation, law and economics, and made a series of recommendations to the Government for more sustainable management of marine fisheries.
The scientists hope their advice will help policy makers achieve the objectives of the Fisheries Act – domestic legislation that replaced the Common Fisheries Policy when the UK exited the EU.
They argue that fishing pressure should allow stocks to reach levels that are 120 percent of that needed to maintain maximum sustainable yields, providing resilience in the face of climate change.
Prey fish, on which commercial and other species depend for food, should also be better protected.
Their report also states that exploitation of fisheries should be considered more holistically within the wider context of marine resource management, considering, for example, the effects of fishing on stocks of marine carbon, and development of a diverse, low emission and modern fishing fleet. Overall fishing capacity should be reduced to allow overexploited populations to recover.