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A call to all marine environment stakeholders: how can your data and needs inform fisheries management processes in the Celtic Seas?

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Fisheries, Monitoring, Policy

As a fisheries scientist, I believe that there is a need to consider the wider role of ecosystem processes in sustainable management of the marine environment – not looking at a single species or process in isolation. My team and I seek to use this approach to enable coherent and integrated fisheries management processes, by monitoring, evaluating and using all available information sources.

I am currently leading Cefas’ role in integrating a fuller range of information and perspectives into the marine environmental assessment and management processes for the Celtic Seas Partnership (CSP). To ensure the CSP achieves its goal of sound environmental management, Cefas are looking to hear from stakeholders.

there is a need to consider the wider role of ecosystem processes in sustainable management of the marine environment

We know that achieving marine environmental goals in UK and EU waters will require engagement between sectors and across borders. This means government (including policy makers and management authorities), the private (including fishers and processors) and third sectors all working towards our shared interest in using the marine environment in a sustainable manner.

Cefas is currently carrying out such engagement for the EU funded Celtic Seas Partnership (CSP), a cross-border initiative which seeks to realise sound marine environmental management in European Waters by 2020. The CSP aims to ensure that this is achieved in the Celtic Seas by taking a holistic, long-term view of the marine environment and the range of activities and communities it supports.

Specifically, in March 2016 the CSP’s Biological Diversity Task Group convened and agreed to develop a strategy to empower the fishing industry to collect data from commercial fishing vessels to contribute to relevant assessments of the marine environment. My team at Cefas are now exploring how to make this work in practice.

Most marine stakeholders agree that there are opportunities to strengthen the assessment processes by which we assess marine environmental status with more or better data, and that the fleet of fishing vessels at sea presents an opportunity to collect additional data.

The CSP aims to facilitate the cooperation of all marine environment stakeholders in the region to achieve more effective monitoring and management - matching an understanding of data and policy needs with a fuller range of information sources. This will also allow the assessments to better reflect the experiences of the wide spectrum of actors affected.

Cefas would be very grateful to hear from those working for Marine Monitoring Authorities, Non-Governmental Organisations, fish processors or retailers and fishermen and boat owners who could help identify the most useful data and the challenges the industry face when contributing to the assessment process.

My colleagues and I would greatly appreciate it if you could share your ideas by completing this 10 minute questionnaire by 23rd of December.

We look forward to analysing the responses and considering the next steps in integrating the range of possible additional information and perspectives into the assessment process

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