CEFAS has been working in the areas of fisheries reform, marine planning, aquatic disease research and UK sea's assessment.
CEFAS Chief Executive, Richard Judge, said: "Working closely with industry and colleagues across the public sector, we continue to play a key role in ensuring effective delivery of the government’s marine-related priorities."
A few examples of the way CEFAS has made a difference over the past year include:
- Fisheries reform: working with Defra colleagues to contribute to the European policy debate and with industry to lead the way on solutions for reducing the wasteful practice of discarding fish.
- Marine planning and licensing: supporting the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) through scientific and technical expertise, to inform a more coherent approach to the use of shared resources and better protection for the environment.
- Avoiding the spread of aquatic diseases: developing new detection methods and acting to prevent harm to human health and business failures.
- The assessment of UK seas: leading the gathering of wide-ranging evidence to enhance understanding of the state of UK seas and ultimately protect precious habitats and biodiversity.
Other achievements included:
- Increasing turnover from sources other than core Defra by £1.4 million (seven per cent) to offset the impact of £1.5 million in-year reductions in Defra funding, and capitalised on changes made in recent years to deliver two million pounds of gains in effectiveness. In turn, this enabled targeted investments in infrastructure and our people to secure long-term capability.
- Producing 183 peer-reviewed scientific journal papers – well above the target – and extended its portfolio by self-investing in more than 40 research projects. These ranged from microbial ecology and diagnostic tools for crustacean diseases to novel techniques for collecting data and understanding the effects of ocean acidification.
- Embedding its approach to corporate responsibility more fully. This included achieving a reduction in safety-related incidents, and accreditation for our safety management systems against OHSAS 18001 (a “first” in Defra). CEFAS also launched the CEFAS Connects initiative to encourage volunteering and support for the local communities, raising some £5,000 for charity in the process through staff-led events.
As an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), CEFAS' performance is measured against ministerial targets. The report showed that all but one of these targets was met for the period 2010-11.
In other areas, the annual report annouced that CEFAS delivered a strong financial performance, meeting the ministerial target for finance whilst also delivering more than 500 customer projects totalling in excess of £53 million, improving operating effectiveness by two million pounds, and investing in science, infrastructure and people to support a sustainable future for the agency.
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