The industry is being invited to engage with a new group to support the ongoing sustainable management of fisheries for non-quota finfish species.

The Finfish Industry Advisory Group (FIAG) will act as a steering group and provide a forum for industry to engage in national-level management issues.

UK finfish businesses are encouraged to register interest in joining or engaging with the group ahead of an inaugural meeting this spring.

The FIAG will serve as a point of contact for all matters related to the UK’s non-quota finfish sector. It will follow the co-management model adopted by the Shellfish Industry Advisory Group, which was formed in November 2019.

Finfish non-quota species are often high-value, potentially vulnerable, but generally data- poor. The group aims to work to assess solutions to issues facing the sector through up-to- date science and evidence to ensure the species are managed sustainably. Species of interest to the group include lemon sole, turbot, bass, brill, pilchards, red mullet, gurnards and John Dory.

The group will have an open membership policy, welcoming fishers, fishing industry representatives, researchers and government organisations from across the UK. Secretariat support for the group will be provided by Seafish.

At the inaugural meeting this spring, members will discuss initial key issues and opportunities for FIAG involvement. Areas of interest are likely to include:

  • Support of the Fisheries Management Plan development process for finfish non-quota species
  • Ensuring fair access to fishing opportunities
  • Development of scientific research proposals to address data deficiency in non-quota finfish species of key socio- economic importance
  • Ensuring the sustainability of the species in the long term through the development of data-driven solutions to management issues
  • Industry adaptation and response to the impacts of climate change
  • Spatial squeeze and competition for marine space
  • How the new group will relate to the international dimensions of management on non-quota species
  • Implications for the landing obligation if more stocks are placed under greater limitations.

Aoife Martin, director of operations at Seafish, said: “Finfish non-quota species had a landings value of £39.1m in 2019, which highlights their importance for the industry.

“The creation of this group is an important step in bringing together members of the industry, government and science community to work together to improve the sustainable management of commercially important finfish fisheries. This new group follows a great example of positive work already underway for UK shellfish, where a similar forum for collaboration around management issues is already active.”

To register interest in joining or engaging with the group, contact Holly Kaiser at: Holly.Kaiser@

Information about the FIAG is available here.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here


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