Aquaculture for all

5m Defra Bait for Fishermen to Exit Business

Economics Politics +2 more

UK - Inshore fishermen across England will be able to bid for a share of 5million to scrap their boats and quit the industry in a bid to protect others livelihoods and the future of the fleet.

Fisheries Minister Huw Irranca-Davies today unveiled an action plan designed as a first important step to tackle problems facing England’s inshore fishing fleet and help fishermen stay in business.

England’s 2,500 small-scale inshore fishermen have been under pressure because of tight quota restrictions (monthly catch limits for certain types of fish) and an imbalance between the size of the fleet and the quota available to it.

The government has announced measures to help stabilise the fleet and make it fitter for the future, including:

  • £5million for decommissioning, paying fishermen targeting under-pressure stocks who want to leave the fleet, and releasing their share of the quota to the remainder of the fleet.
  • A new advisory group of people from the fishing industry, coastal communities and other interests to help government take decisions on the future of the inshore fishing fleet.
  • Limited quota licences for fishermen who have not targeted quota stocks – to enable fishermen to carry on at existing catch levels.
  • Quota leasing to help fishermen who want to catch more than their monthly limits temporarily obtain extra to support their businesses.
  • Engine testing to check that fishing boats’ power, including those in the inshore fleet, matches their licence conditions.
Huw Irranca-Davies said: “The inshore fishermen and their boats are a well-known sight in harbours and on beaches up and down England, and are an essential part of our coast’s heritage.

“Many fishermen are facing tough times. We need to tackle the problems they face now, and to lay the foundations that will get the inshore fleet on a sustainable, long-term footing.

“I want to help keep as many fishermen in business as possible. I know these decisions will be difficult for some, but there are no easy answers and we have to make some tough choices.

“These are the first necessary steps towards our vision for the inshore fleet – one where responsible fishermen make a decent living whilst safeguarding stocks for future generations.”