Fishing News has dedicated various articles to the six Fisheries Management Plans that close for public comment on October the 1st.

These six FMPs are the first of many that will be developed in the next few years, as required by the Fisheries Act.

The coverage here is just part of the wider look we have had in the pages of Fishing News over the summer, with much additional comment and input from independent scientists, individual fishermen, and fishermen’s groups.

If you’ve been following the FN coverage, or have read through the six sets of consultation documents, you’ll know that the FMPs are a very mixed bag. Some seem to be more ‘plans about plans’ with few actual management proposals, others have benefitted from extensive fishing industry input and dialogue.

It is simple to respond, and make your own thoughts clear. Each FMP has a simple questionnaire that can be filled in, that allows you to make additional comment and suggestion about management of the fisheries in question if you wish to.

You can access them all via the Government webpage at Fisheries management plans – GOV.UK as well as find access there to a wide range of background material. The consultations close on 1 October.

These are early days in the FMP process, and there will be a steep learning curve. The content of many of the plans will not be to the liking of many.  But they are here to stay, and it is crucial now, that everyone involved across the industry has a say. It is easy to criticise from the sidelines, and easier still to do nothing. It is to the credit of many in the industry that they have already fully engaged in the development of the first drafts, and ensured that co-management becomes a step closer to reality rather than simply a goal.

If you haven’t yet responded, we’d suggest you use this newsletter as an introduction to the FMPs, before responding to the online questionnaire ahead of the deadline this Sunday night, 1 October.

Find our articles on the six FMPs here.


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