Northern Ireland news

British government and devolved administrations launch consultation on Joint Fisheries Statement

Marie Louise McConville

THE UK Government and the three devolved administrations have set out their agreed vision for a sustainable fishing industry.

Ministers from around the UK are seeking views on their Joint Fisheries Statement, which describes legally-binding policies to manage the fishing sector.

A consultation on the statement will run until April 12.

It sets out plans for an "ecosystem-based" approach to fishery management with a commitment to protecting and, where necessary, recovering fish stocks.

The plan also aims to reduce the impact of fishing on the marine environment, as well as support the industry.

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots said he was "pleased that we are now in a position to share this consultation draft of the Joint Fisheries Statement".

"We promised a JFS, and we are now delivering on it," he said.

"It forms an important part of the overall fisheries framework, as it will set out our plans to pursue sustainable fisheries policies that will benefit both the fishing industry and the marine environment for many years to come.

"I would encourage everyone who has an interest in achieving the UK’s vision of having clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas to get involved in this consultation."

UK Environment Secretary George Eustice said: "The Fisheries Act has given us the powers to implement our own independent fisheries policy, improve our marine environment and make decisions based on the health of our fish stocks and not vested interests.

"Today, we are setting out our shared vision for a sustainable fishing industry that delivers for our fishermen, the environment and the whole Union," he said.

"We have taken back control of our waters and a year on from the Trade and Co-operation Agreement a positive picture is emerging for our fishing industry.

"We have seen an increase in quota that will amount to around £146 million by 2026 and we are investing £100 million into coastal communities so that they can benefit from better infrastructure, new jobs and investment in skills."

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