Sustainable management measures will be vital to the future of Britain's third most valuable fishery and one which has suffered violent clashes over its stocks during the infamous ”scallop wars”.
"I'm really looking forward to having the opportunity to discuss the future of the scallop fishery in person with French fishers. I look forward to welcoming everyone to Brixham: a wonderful location for the workshop, a really thriving fishing town. The neutrality provided by the facilitators should underpin some fruitful talks," said Nick Prust, South West Inshore Fishermen’s Association.
The 14–16 April meeting will see a unique gathering of fishers, scientists, policy-makers, NGOs and retail/processing representatives, from both France and Britain, descend on the Berry Head Hotel in Brixham, Devon.
Working together, they hope to create a sustainable, profitable and collaborative future for their valuable fishery. This is a radical departure from previous instances of reported conflict between fishermen in the Channel, which once lead to the intervention of the Navy.
The workshop, a GAP2 project event (an international research project funded by the European Commission), is entitled: “The Future of Scallop Fisheries in the Channel: Towards a Regional Management Plan”, and will be the first of its kind, with discussions between Channel fishers being neutrally and professionally facilitated. The event will be supported by GAP2, the Environmental Defense Fund, the NWWAC and WWF.
The workshop has been designed with a view to providing the best possible environment for collaboratively developing practical, pro-active steps towards a regional management plan for scallop fishing in the Channel. The event will:
- Bring together participants representing a range of interests and professions linked to the Channel scallops fishery, for a fisher-led discussion.
- Share fishers’ and scientists’ experiences and perspectives of profitable, sustainable and shared fisheries management.
- Explore the benefits of achieving a regional management plan through co-managed approaches.
- Take the first steps in designing a ‘tool kit’ of management measures for the Channel fisheries.
Through two full days of interactive talks and small break-out sessions, consensus-building will be a focus of this GAP2 workshop, which, it is hoped, will be the first in a number of such collaborative events involving Channel scallop fishers.
The workshop will feature presentations from across Europe and further afield, with speakers flying in from the USA. Throughout, a number of specialist simultaneous translators, with experience in facilitation, will provide support to all delegates – helping to find the most interactive and innovative means through which to reach an accord.
You can follow the event on twitter at: @GAP2_Project #GAP2Scallops